Walking the Path: My Interfaith Journey

A Pagan seminarian's perspective on faith, theology, and facilitating interfaith dialogue.

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Denora

Denora

Denora is currently a full-time wife, mother, and chaplain. She is an eight-year veteran of the United States Air Force, an avid writer and blogger, as well as a fire spinner. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary's Military Ministries team and the Lady Liberty League Military Affairs Task Force. She is also the Ecumenical Program Director for Oak Spirit Sanctuary of Missouri.

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In Defense of a Missionizing Paganism

 

 

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Made in God's Image

My friend and I were having a conversation the other day. I was relating the story of my journey to South Africa and my trip to Robben Island, but more specifically the powerful effect the artwork on the prison walls had on me. This artwork was significant because the prisoners on Robben Island were overwhelmingly African, yet there was a picture of a white Jesus on the walls. My friend couldn't understand why African prisoners would choose to draw a picture of a white Jesus on the wall until I explained to him the historical significance of the missionary movement in Africa and specifically how white privilege played a part in the conversion of slaves to Christianity. 

"That is so sad." He commented, half in shock. And I must agree with him. As a Pagan, I draw strength and comfort from the concept that my deities come in many shapes and sizes. They are not limited by gender or sexual expression, size or natural status. In essence I can find in my deities the diversity of expression that reflects my own humanity and allows me to connect with them on a deeper level. For Christians, this is limited by their monotheistic view of God Himself. Who gets to determine what God looks like? In many cases that question is answered by whoever is in power.

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Ruminations on the Soul: Mental Illness and Suicide

**This post is rooted in recent current events, and has foundations in my experience as a mental health chaplain. The content may be upsetting or triggering to some**

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

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  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Thank you for this post.

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Ruminations on the Soul: Forgiveness

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn..."

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Ruminations on the Soul: Guilt and Shame

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Well baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah..."

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Ruminations on the Soul: Love

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

Matthew 22:39 tells us to "Love your neighbor as yourself," but is not very specific as to what love looks like or how to go about loving either your neighbor or yourself. Luckily, the Greeks were helpful in providing eight types of love for us to examine to help us determine what type of relationship we are in with not just ourselves, but with others. Are our relationships healthy or unhealthy? Do they need to be adjusted? Do they need to be amended or cut off?

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Update on My Wandering Uterus

It is almost a year after the initial conversation that sparked the crazy idea to write a collection of women's stories and call it "My Wandering Uterus" (for more details on that journey, please reference Byron Ballard's blog here: http://www.myvillagewitch.com/my-wandering-uterus/)

As I'm putting together a presentation on the history of the theory of trauma, the irony of this is not lost on me. Men like Jean Martin Charcot and Pierre Janet were some of the first men in their field to turn the tide against the asinine diagnosis of hysteria; recognizing that the manifestation of trauma based symptoms were not physiological in nature, but psychological, and not limited to the uterus. The article that inspired this conversation can be read here: https://lithub.com/hysteria-witches-and-the-wandering-uterus-a-brief-history/

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  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thanks so much for being part of this exciting project!

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