Monday, May 26, 2008

Rooted in Experience

My last two posts were a personal reflection on some of the ways that trying to live my spiritual life true to the experiences I've had over the past seven years may have changed who I am in very basic ways.

When I began writing them, I didn't yet see the ways these posts dovetailed with the topic of my guest blog at The Wild Hunt. Now, though, they seem intimately connected: when we approach our spiritual lives as lived experiences, we necessarily open ourselves to the possibility of radical change--change at the root. That's unnerving, of course. But if we rise to the challenge, and allow our understandings to change in response to our experiences of God/the gods, I believe we will find ourselves living as we were meant to live, and growing as we were meant to grow.

If we have the courage to be willing to let go of what we believe our religious life ought to be about, and instead, accept it on our own terms, we might just learn a thing or two.

If you are interested in reading my plea for more Pagan writing that is rooted in experience rather than in the "merely notional", you might want to visit The Wild Hunt today. (And many thanks to Jason Pitzl-Waters for the chance to share what I had to say with a wider audience.)


ambermoggie said...

Wonderful article, thank you
I felt I had to give my twopennoth:)
amber in england

staśa said...

Wow. Go, Cat. And thank you.

Mama Kelly said...

I loved your piece over at The Wild Hunt and took you up on your "challenge." While it won't publish until Thursday (I write my blog ahead on the weekends when I can) you can "see it first" here:

I intend to revisit your post again as a jumping off point for future blog entries as well. Thank you so much for the inspiration and the kick in the pants.


Mama Kelly

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Mama Kelly's post will be visible at Two Witches Blog, for anyone looking for a click through.

I'm really looking forward to reading it!

Yvonne said...

Dear Cat, I completely agreed with what you said, but I find it difficult to be as open as that on the internet. However, very inspiring article and I'll have a go!

Erik said...

I have to give the sermon this weekend at my UU church; at least part of the content is inspired by this challenge. I'm sure I'll be adapting it for posting next week.


Ceri said...

Thanks for this post, it came at a very good time for me.I've also read the 2 witches blog and The Wild Hunt entry.
Rooted in experience? There is no other way!

Blessings, Ceri

Anonymous said...

I read your post on The Wild Hunt and I wanted to let you know about a book that has just been published that you may be interested in - it fits in with the theme of your post. (I am not associated with this book)

Here is a snip of what it is about.

Gods and Mortals
New Stories of Hellenic Polytheism
By H. Jeremiah Lewis

The gods are still around: that's the refrain that sounds throughout each of these stories. Although the roots of the faith stretch back to ancient Greece, Hellenismos continues to grow and adapt, offering inspiration and answers to the perplexing questions of life's mysteries for many individuals today.

And that is what these stories are about - what it's like to practice Hellenismos today. What it feels like to recognize the presence of the gods around you. To discover the mystery of the divine, the power of love, the joy of life, the pangs of grief, the struggle with doubt, the loneliness that comes with belonging to a minority faith.

You can read all about ancient Greek religion in hundreds of academic tomes - but none of them will tell you what it's really like, from the inside. The only way to do that is to hear our stories, in our own words. Stories of gods and mortals.


I haven't read it yet, but have ordered it. Right when I saw it come out, I remembered your post. The publisher of this book has put out a few books so far and they are not instructional 101 type books. They are poetry, stories, all about the experience and emotions involved in worship and connection to deity.


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