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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Spiritual Scavenger

I’ve always wanted to be consistent. Walk one path with loyal dedication. But it was not to be.

Born with a perverse need to be both sceptical and spiritual, I have a checkered religious history. I’ve been a Jehovah Witness, Anglican altar girl, and agnostic (a few times). Twenty years ago though, I found Paganism. Instead of dogma and moralizing, it offered me a celebration of life and a treasure trove of symbols and traditions to explore.

In my darkest hours however, I was still plagued by a nostalgia for something I’d never really had. This was a deeper consolation of the kind promised by more mainstream faiths. I secretly longed to be saved, forgiven, healed, and taken care of completely. But I could never give in to “accepting a saviour”—even the soft-eyed Jesus I remembered from childhood—because that came at too high a price: obsession with sin and guilt, denial of the “the flesh”, and the requirement of literal belief.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • James  Tomlinson
    James Tomlinson says #
    Wonderfully and brilliantly shared. Thank you Archer.
  • Kari
    Kari says #
    Brilliant as always, Archer. I look forward to more of your musings...
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Archer, Thanks for sharing this! It gives me a better understanding of why so many Pagans have embraced Buddhist teachings and Yo

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Having passed (by quite a few) the required number of years and an appropriate series of experiences, it appears that I have become a sage. I can now look back over the events of my life and connect the dots. 

As a young man I felt that I was a reincarnated sage who was constantly seeking reconnection, through my vague but compelling memories, to my former wisdom and power. I now see clearly that it's silly to split hairs over titles. Druid, hierophant, teacher, bard, yoga philosopher - titles are just signposts. They indicate a certain type of calling that can never be fully encompassed by words.

Words are wonderful tools, but truth lies beyond them. And, in a bad way, a title can be restrictive and can exclude all manner of similar folk who do not fit exactly within its prejudicial confines. When that happens, it's a shame. It doesn't benefit any of us.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ted, thank you for sharing your story with us!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Terence. Puberty, eh? I read about an experiment at a University where they gave 40 year-olds the same amount of hormon
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Your wisdom resonates with me; thank you for that. This post made me recall my own destructive youthful exuberance, a time when I

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I rolled into my yoga class last week, placed my mat in my usual spot and prepared for my normal Thursday night level 1-2 Anusara practice. My yoga teacher started the class by talking about a studio she has practiced in for many years-and then drew our attention to the particular studio in which we sat which had just turned 4 years old. She talked of foundations-how this particular floor and these particular walls have held us all as students-in our successes, our failures (if there is such a thing as failure in yoga) and all of the emotions and thoughts that run through us as we fold over into downward dog or kick up into headstand. I paid special attention to my bones during that class-their alignment or lack thereof, strength, and hugging the muscles into the bones as well.

And of course, being the animist, ancestor venerating, root magic-making, self-inquiry sorceress that I am I started thinking about my own foundations-my ancestors-who come from all over the place-Cherokee First People, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, and the list goes on. I thought about all of the religions and spiritual traditions that have poured out through the ages into the pool of my heart-indigenous European pre-Christian traditions of so many stripes, indigenous Cherokee and Choctaw pre-Christian traditions and knowing, Judaism, Catholicism, and Baptist. The animals, plants, deities, and spiritual allies that have been with my lineage for centuries and the ones that have made themselves known to me in this time and this life. For me-these people, their traditions, devotions, and knowledge are the foundation upon which I stand. I thought of my own mother who taught me how to read tarot and runes when I was barely three-of my first magic spell performed with great success when I was four and a half, my father who taught me the power of prosperity, how to run a business and how to make a difference, of my dearly departed Cherokee grandfather who taught me about crystals, red clay, and root medicine and my grandmother who still lives and to whom I owe my intimacy with the King James Bible-on all of their shoulders I stand and I bow in honor.

My immediate family-husband and son and the land upon which we live in our tiny San Antonio historic neighborhood are my walls-within the confines of my family and my beloved my work has stretched and curled deep into the ground-anchoring itself in the sweet. dark earth. My daily ritual practice and devotions are also part of the walls-my alliances with my spiritual allies-the offerings made and promises kept-they all feed into this foundation. And of course, my clients-those that I serve, that I work with, who trust and share their most intimate stories with me-they are my foundation too.

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