A Ruist (aka Confucian) talks about the role of ancestor veneration within his faith. The difference between Hindutva and Hinduism is explained. And St. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, is remembered. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment about faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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It is common in many traditions to ask for guidance from the unseen realms, from the spirits. Sometimes the requests are answered in signs, omens, visions, and the like. I have three short vignettes to share that illustrate some of the reactions that can occur when the guidance is very clear....
It was Burtrand, head of Minnesota Church of the Wicca, which meant that something was probably wrong. He'd never called before.
"Were you guys out at the demo last week?"
It was February 1982, the early years of the Reagan Era. The Teflon President himself had stopped at the Minneapolis Airport and, activist coven that we were, we had gone out to give him the un-welcome that he deserved.
WITCHES AGAINST REAGAN, read our sign. Note the acronym. Hey, they were un-subtle times.
"Yeah," I said, "How did you know?"
Lend flight to thoughts; waft away the mundane to make room for the sacred spirit journey. Seeming to be at the mercy of the wind, feathers float on the breeze to be gifted to those who seek. Yet the feathers direct the thoughts to a higher plane.
Feathers have been used as spiritual artifacts in almost all cultures. Even today each State has a state bird, which is exempt from hunting and held as sacred. Emperors, Priests, Goddesses have all been adorned with the sacred feather from a variety of birds from the peacock and parrot to the eagle and ostrich. Some feathers are so sought after that the birds are now protected. It is important to only pick up found feathers and not take them from living birds. Be cautious about buying feathers as well - some are limited to only certain Native American tribes for their religious rights....
Last year I facilitated a (very) small gathering devoted to the Goddess Hekate in the basement of a local metaphysical shop. My Comrade and I celebrated The Rite of Her Sacred Fires, a global ritual written and organized by Sorita d’Este from the Covenant of Hekate, an organization devoted to Hekate, Our Lady of the Crossroads.
The Rite of Her Sacred Fires is a very sweet and very powerful ritual, celebrated annually by people all over the world on the full moon in May. (This year the full moon is on Saturday, May 21.) We chanted, we sang, we decorated candles, we raised some power, and together we spoke these words:
“Great Hekate, who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life, guide us through towards pathways of understanding. From crossroad to crossroad, the torchbearers and the keybearers of your mysteries will always find one another.”