A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Hello world and welcome to my experiment!
What does it mean to be pagan and to practice a nature based faith, in the modern world? How do I balance my beliefs with immersion in a technologically and capitalistically based society? How do I raise my children in this society, while sharing my beliefs with them but not indoctrinating them? How do my beliefs translate into action, how do I live my faith? How do I follow a calling to live a life in service as clergy? How do all these things balance and coexist with other important aspects of my life like my relationships, my role in the community, and taking good care of myself physically and emotionally? These are the questions I ask myself each day. I pray that by sharing the steps along my spiritual journey, my struggles and hard lessons learned, that it may both serve to clarify and motivate my own progress, as well as help others who might find themselves on common ground with me. This will be a learning curve for me, as I become familiar with the mechanics of blogging, and work on improving my writing craft to be something worth the time to be read.
Julie Andrews taught me that it’s often good practice to start at the very beginning. After all, it’s a very good place to start. So let’s begin with a definition of terms, namely, why ‘Spiral Journey’? A journey immediately brings to my mind a destination, whether somewhere far flung and exotic, or a retracing of familiar paths to a beloved haunt. Destinations however, are not really the point of this journey I mean to share. The lessons learned and the goals reached on the spiral journey happen along the way, and there is no difinitive point in time or space where you reach the end of the journey. Even death is just another waypoint along the path.
The spiral is a path that may seem to go nowhere but round and round. This is true, but also deceptive. All things in nature cycle: the seasons; the waters of the earth as they move through seas, sky and back to land, running down to the sea; the orbits of ours and other worlds; the constantly expanding spiral of the galaxy. Cycles are all around us. More than that of course, we are a part of the cycles, and we ourselves cycle. Birth, growth, aging, death, rebirth, all humanity is subject to this immutable natural cycle. Even if you do not believe in an afterlife or reincarnation, our cells are recycled in rebirth as our bodies decay and feed other forms of life. Nothing in nature is wasted.
So the spiral is a symbol and a literal representation of the endlessly changing face of life. Like the universe, the spiral is ever expanding as you go, and like a strand of DNA we spiral in both directions at once as we walk our path, both inward and outward. Both directions have a physical aspect and a spiritual aspect. Spiraling inwards we focus on awareness of our physical health, our emotional and psychological baggage, as well as inward listening to ourselves, meditation, stillness, the energies within us and learning to use them. Somewhere deep in that inner vibration we find the frequency which is also the outward spiral. On the outward spiral we focus on the outer manifestations of our bodies and physical action, and on reaching out, exploring our place in the world and the universe, our interactions and connections with others, the lessons we learn from each other, and how our energies interact. Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of transitions and doorways, we face both directions at once, walking the spiral both inwards and outwards simultaneously. Only our focus changes, from moment to moment, as we examine our path.
This blog is an attempt to put the lessons I learn and challenges I face along my path into language, to make sense of them myself and to be shared with others. I hope to find good stories, humor, humility, love, useful tools and occasional nuggets of wisdom on my journey. My path is not the path of anyone else, yet still I hope that sharing my journey can enrich the experience, for me, and for those I touch along the way.
And so we begin…