Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.

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Ted Czukor

Ted Czukor

A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England. theoczukor@cox.net.

Most of us are familiar with the lovely quote by Graham Greene's wife, Vivien: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain."  That's a wonderful aphorism, but as I'm sure she herself would have admitted, there are times in life when a person has to do both.  Sometimes you have to stay in your cellar until the tornado has passed overhead; then you can come out and dance in gratitude for still being alive, in the gentle drizzle that follows.  Life encompasses every situation; the two statements are not mutually exclusive.  Over an entire human lifetime, they are equally true. 

Here's another similar saying, attributed to choreographer Vicki Corona: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."  Again, a great pithy aphorism.  But of course she was referencing a particular situation under certain specific conditions.  In reality - ask any Yogi - our life is measured, quite literally, by the number of breaths we take!  And yet, at the same time, how boring would life be without those miraculous moments that take our breath away?  Again, the two statements are not mutually exclusive.  

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ted, lovely, deep, sincere, as always. Thank you. As someone who's always talking about bringing together polar opposites and livi
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    I always appreciate your wise words.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Lizann. And I appreciated learning what Poison Oak teaches.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

When I was young, I used to chafe when an older person would say (smugly, I assumed, though that was probably not the case), "You'll understand better when you're older."  I was well-educated.  I had a sharp, agile mind (certainly faster than it is today); so why should this person think that I couldn't understand something? 

Of course, one grows and inevitably gains experience.  And he finds that "understanding better when you're older" is more a matter of tingling nerve endings recognizing something they have felt before, than of intellect.  

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We are all fairy-tale princes and princesses, trapped by some wicked spell within bodies and behind faces that we don't recognize in the mirror or in photographs - because they are not the real us. 

It is often impossible to see beneath the surface of things; but we can train ourselves to sense beneath it. 

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(I wrote this in 2005, before I had embraced Paganism.  So please forgive the absence of the usual buzzwords, and feel free to insert your own.) 

We survive the trials of life because our brains change.  The brain creates new neural pathways in response to fresh information.  Each time we encounter a different piece of the cosmic puzzle, be it pleasant or unpleasant, the brain readjusts its “wiring” to integrate that information into our total reality system.  By this process we gradually increase the sum total of what we understand.  At the same time, we raise the threshold of what we are able to endure.  

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In the early hours of morning, I found myself in a shining reality where Ravyn and I were sitting comfortably on a pillowed living room sofa, holding our sweet puppies in our laps.  Augie and Muffin - healthy and happy, resting in our arms.  As I looked at the sweet upturn of Muffie's muzzle and nose, and stroked both of their soft, warm, silky heads, I reminisced with Norie/Ravyn about all the terrible times we had survived - ill health and pain, car accidents and worse, bankruptcy and financial ruin - and we discussed how grateful we were to be finally made whole once again, and able to take care of our dogs properly.  

In my dreamy reverie, I was trying to remember who the kind person was who had taken them into her care for us when we could no longer pay for their upkeep and medical expenses, and who had kept them safe and well until the day when we could finally welcome them back again.  I asked Ravyn if she could remember that person's name - after all, it was a wonderfully selfless act she had performed.  Imagine caring so well for such sweet beings, with no thought of being paid back - and then willingly restoring them to us, healed and whole, without feeling any attachment or desire to keep them for herself!  It seemed vaguely strange to me that I could not recall the name of such a wondrous person, but I was so comfortable and peaceful that it did not bother me much.  Ravyn was equally forgetful, mellow and happy; and it occurred to me, as a sort of disinterested afterthought, that all four of us had perfectly functioning youthful bodies.  All traces of gray were gone from our hair and its natural color had been restored, as had all the skin smoothness and muscle tone that we had possessed when first we met. 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Sweet reminders are the best.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

As many in our community have pointed out, we know very little about the original practices of Druids and Pagan priestesses; the only extant writings we have are propaganda pieces by their conquerors, Roman historians and Catholic clerics. Ours is a "reconstructed religion" based on whatever clues we can glean from other traditions of Goddess and Nature worship, such as Hinduism, Shinto and Shamanism.  

But if even a fraction of what their detractors claim is true, then my 21st century Neopaganism - a benign blend of John Muir, Mists of Avalon, J.R.R. Tolkien, Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson and Swami Vivekananda - has to be a kinder, gentler form of Mother Nature worship than that practiced by our ancient forbears. What's more, I feel that it is fitting and proper that it should be so. I may have lived back then, but I definitely live now. Thank God and Goddess that I can reconstruct my religion to suit my inner nature and the age in which I now find myself! 

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  • irene boyce
    irene boyce says #
    Hi Ted, I really enjoyed this post. Common sense with added humour. It is interesting that you should wish to retire to Glastonbu
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Irene, thank you for reaching out. In the Mists of Avalon chapter you quote, she mentions "the Shining Ones who had come there fro

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

At the moment of death, you understand Everything.  Completely.  Clearly.  Purely.  But you are totally incapable of communicating it to anybody else.  It is in this moment that many spiritually-minded souls form a compulsion to come back into this world, because they desire to share with others what they finally know.  But it's a delusion - because, for most of us, reincarnating in a physical body makes us forget 50% of what we wanted to reveal!  And here begins another cycle of frustration - spending an entire lifetime trying to get that knowledge back again.  

One of the questions resolved at death is whether Satan, Lucifer, Iblis and Mara are names of an actual entity or just a metaphor.  Paramhansa Yogananda and M. Scott Peck testify in print that they actually saw the embodied figure of ultimate malice and evil; Peck heard it speak.  However, each of these reliable witnesses saw something different.  So what, in fact, did they see - a real entity or the embodiment of a metaphor?  

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, m'dear. I knew you would understand my rant in the spirit in which it was intended. By the way - any new developments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    The move has been temporarily delayed. For a number of reasons. For one thing, there was an ice dam on the roof, which caused leak
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Perfect! Good for you. Keep writing your truth! People need to hear it. In fact, let me ascend my soapbox: Ahem! Evil does take

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