Tag Archives: goddess

And let the gods, too, be healed…

Dhanvantari
Dhanvantari

For a long time, now, I have been struggling with some personal issues that I have not been able to resolve.

When that happens, I tend to withdraw into the quieter recesses of my life and reach out less into the wider world.

It’s not that I become a recluse or hermit, because I still engage on practical levels, still do my work and ply my business, and still interact in small moments as I meet people in those activities, but generally I go into a mode where you could say that my mental and emotional interactions with most others outside of my intimate circle is on ‘standby.’

This is more about a process of realignment. 

When things are overwhelming and nothing can be done about them, outwardly, the only way you can really deal with them is internally.

But when your internal processes are full of pain, misery, perplexion, doubt, confusion, vacillation, ceaseless questions, etc., you cannot deal with such overwhelming things until you have first cleared the inner work area. 

And that means a need for inward focus and concentration.

It means an inner-dwelling, and withdrawing somewhat from the outer world to enable that self-examination and cleansing process.

This is the same sort of process that buddha used to find enlightenment.

The buddha, himself, became so perplexed and despairing at the futile results from his teaching efforts, at one stage, that he went and sat under a bodhi tree, determined not to move from his meditative pose until he either got some answers, or died.

I’m not quite ready to be that extreme, but I do know that the enlightenment the buddha received was simply that__life is ruled by certain embedded laws in the physical realm__that form the destinies of those incarnate in it__and which cannot be changed until the people involved in those destinies are ready for change. 

So the best thing you can do is to be merciful and compassionate toward those caught up on that worldly merry-go-round and just get on with the business of enjoying living.

For me, this mode is enabled because I have an eclectic spirituality that recognizes the creative force of god in all things, in all elements of creation, and in all people.

Now, I’m going to do a lot of talking about this god force, in the following essay, along with gods, goddesses, and supernatural entities.

I also have friends who are atheists, and they jack up whenever they hear the word, god, so let me say here that these words are just definitions used by humans to explain concepts.  You can call them whatever you like, so long as the end concept is the same.

For myself, I believe that this god force not only creates our physical universe, but the spiritual and transcendental universes, as well.

I believe it creates the many other dimensions of parallel reality to our own, and the many levels of reality above and below our own.

And I believe it creates all the inhabitants and consistent elements of any of these, inclusive of gods and goddesses, devas, devis, asuras, demons, and elemental entities.

My god is neutral in all areas of its manifestation.

Because it is the beginning and the end of all manifestation, and the source of all existence, I believe it refers only to itself when it creates.

For the god force I believe in, there is no black or white or shades of grey, in such matters__there only is what is.

This is no different to how any artist in any medium might express themselves.

Just because a painter might paint a ‘dark‘ subject matter, or a film maker might produce a ‘horror‘ story, does not necessarily reflect on their soul or inner purity.

It is usually for them just a creative expression which examines such a subject or a story thread, and so it is for the god force I believe in.

The trouble I see in this, for us, is that we are the subject matter, and ours is the story.  We are the elements of this creation.

This means that, caught up in the inherent rules that hold our reality together, we are embedded in the process of that examination, and so the bad stuff affects us as much as the good stuff does.

For the god force I believe in, however, none of this matters in the end because, like a replicator machine on a Star Trek spaceship (or like one of the artists I previously mentioned), it just pulls in the matter it was experimenting with when it is finished with it and recycles it into something new.

That is akin to us examining our thought processes, discarding what is useless or obsolete, and capitalizing on what remains to forge a new thought process.

In our physical reality, though, I believe we are the thought processes of the god force, feeling and living as apparently separate entities.

And as those apparently separate entities, we don’t want to just suffer and be discarded, because that feels meaningless to us.

Such modes feel like our life has no purpose other than as a plaything or as an experimental expression of the god force.

Spiritually, the truth I believe in goes something like this__we are the god force__so we are never lost, we are never non-existent, and we are never discarded.

When you are struggling with the storyline of your life, however, and dealing with what definitely feels real and assailing, it is extremely difficult to align yourself with such a concept.

The absolute and only way to deal with it is to recognize the schism between reality and spirituality.

Even the Tibetan Dalai Lama has expressed this mode in reference to his own life, where he admits he is both a human being, with all the flaws and failings that may go with that incarnation, and an enlightened spiritual being.

On some days, he says he gets pissed off if the radio is not playing his favorite channel, or he tells of how he used to get jealous seeing his brother riding a bicycle when he was a kid and he was forced to study.  Yet he is also an enlightened being who can key into the truth of the cosmos whenever a question is put to him, providing answers to those who ask.

This is what I believe to be the nature of the reality we live in.

It is what I believe is the nature of any level of reality__even the levels of reality where the supernatural live__the levels of gods and goddesses, etc.

In my estimation, we are both expressions embedded in the reality created and the god force creating it.

I believe we are both human and god.

This is why I feel that our human lives can be so frustrating, because it takes a lot of enlightenment, or awakening in the mind of the cosmic divine, to make the flexible adjustments necessary to be able to deal with that apparent truth.

Most people don’t seem able to.  And religion doesn’t seem to help them to, because religion is usually about aligning people to a notion that god is a distant figure, a figure to worship and kowtow to, and a figure to honor as being separate to oneself.

Yet, if we are god and all is god and we are the recyclable expressions of god, then we are never distant from god and never separate.  We are god, itself.

In the Vedic stories of the creation of our universe, the gods and goddesses and demons all churned the milky oceans of the cosmos to bring our reality into being.

In the process, they got caught up in the endless struggle between good and badgods and demons.

They got caught up in their own level of ‘reality‘, that seemed to be an endless fight for the upper hand.

The god force decided to alter the game play and sent in an element of itself called Dhanvantari (pronounced dah-hun-vun-tar-ay).

Dhanvantari came bearing gifts, including the nectar of immortality, or amrita.

Now, as human beings caught up in our own story telling, when we talk of immortality and elixirs that enable it, we usually think only that it means living forever.

But if you put aside those stories and concentrate on the spiritual truths I referred to__the god force is already immortal, and all elements of it are therefore already immortal, and so we, too, are already immortal.

We’re just not immortal in our present incarnation or in our worldly expression as a human being.  We’re only immortal as recycling elements of the god force.

The only reason that such a notion seems to pain us is because we like to think of ourselves as completely separate entities, with free will to be and do whatever we want to be.

We don’t really like the concept of being swallowed up into some greater being that rules over us.

To define this, I remember going into a trance mode in my shower many years ago (odd place, I know) and seeing a vast wonder of (what I can only describe as) an orgy of slithering cosmic energy slugs in a rainbow of colors.

I ‘knew‘ that this thriving and burgeoning energy was the god force in motion, creating.  And I felt that if I stood there watching long enough, I would be absorbed into those colors and become part of them. And that thought made me feel panic that my life may about to be over.  Which made me wake up from the trance, so I could return to my husband and children, who I was thoroughly enjoying being with at the time.

I believe that this mode, however, of wanting to feel alive and of wanting to feel individual is just part of the worldly process that shapes us.

We are born into the world with ambition, with a willingness to grow, to prosper and thrive, to fight for survival, and to interact with all other elements of our existence in order to do these things, and especially, to explore relationships.

This is how I believe the god force has fun through us, and with itself.  It creates challenges to explore, and we are the pieces on the cosmic chess table.

Yet I believe we are also the god force moving the pieces on that table.  It is us, playing with ourselves through this divine thought process.

For me, it is us imagining scenarios and playing them out.

And that is the only way I believe we are really separate.

In the manifestation of all the levels of reality, I feel that the same challenges apply.  There may be different scenarios to deal with, and different character applications, but the same effective schism between what appears to be and what is applies, whether you are human or a divine being.

So even those who are enlightened or who are divine beings manifesting in human form, can temporarily feel lost in the play.

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he is said to have cried out ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?

When buddha sat under the bodhi tree looking for enlightenment, he did so because he had reached a state of despair that seemed to have no answers.

When the gods and goddesses churned the cosmic oceans with the asuras and demons, they, too, forgot the cosmic reality and got caught up with the physical expressions of their own level of reality.

So Dhanvantari arrived with the amrita, which was not a pot of elixir enabling immortality__in truth, it was a reminder that all is not what it appears to be, and that, being the elements of the god force that they were, they were never impotent and were always immortal.

The only thing that they had to learn to deal with, then, was the knowledge that they were in a process of the game play, and that all game play eventually comes to an end.

In our human world, sometimes this cosmic game play only comes to an end when our lives come to an end.

But for me, embedded in all existence is this knowledge of the god force and how it expresses itself through us.

In my belief, all existence is the expression of the god force, for better or worse.

In all such existence I believe, as elements of the god force, there is an  inherent mode for change.

Dhanvantari also expresses this mode because he is also known as the healer of the gods, and the father of ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient art of finding the spiritual element in plants and mineral elements, that can help to readjust the spiritual element in ourselves, and therefore lead to physical healing.

Like the amrita, ayurvedic medicine is a knowledge of the divine that is embedded in our physical reality__because no matter what game play we are embroiled in, the belief remains that the essential god force is always present.

Therefore, by referring to that underlying and inherent factor, I believe we can realign ourselves and our lives.

We may not be able to change the game in play, though.

Buddha‘s physical body got old and died.

Jesus‘ body was put to death on the cross.

When the Vedic gods went to Vishnu and asked for their power to be restored because the demons had usurped it, they were simply told to wait things out, because this is the nature of things__nothing lasts forever.

It seems that even gods and goddesses, and the enlightened, can become caught up in the nature of their physical existence, and in the assailments that come to them in that existence.

Illness and assailment seem to come to anyone in any form and on any level of manifesting existence, no matter how pure of heart or mind they are, or how much they do to keep themselves healthy and peaceful__even to gods and goddesses manifesting in transcendent realms.

And even though the god Shiva is said to have consumed the poisons of the cosmos that were created from the struggles between the gods and demons during the churning of existence__he, too, remained marked forever by the blue of that poison. (So long as he incarnates as the god, Shiva, anyway).

It seems that such threads being explored by the creative god force just need certain things to happen, and those things can feel very bad to us, and can have a very bad apparent effect on our incarnating lives, and even on the lives of those incarnated in divine realms.

I’m not saying that good effects never happen, but I am focusing on the bad stuff that undermines us, here, so please go with that flow.

Nor am I saying at all that, since we have little control over what happens to us, those who are inclined to do bad things should be allowed to do so without resistance.

Remember that Vishnu says that all things are cyclic and all modes come to an end, so there is a time for reckoning and adjustment at the end of each phase.  Bad modes will always be adjusted by good ones, even as good ones can temporarily be assailed by bad ones.

On a more human level, I have taoist friends who still take umbrage against buddhists because of the political turmoil between them, and because of dogmatic differences.

Yet, in the expression of taoism, it is said that we are all on par, all equal, and all part of the flow of life, of whatever is, and so all elements of creation should be met equally and with aplomb__and still my friends sit in opposition to the buddhists and shudder when buddhist images are shown to them.

Even the most enlightened of us can therefore become too embedded in the reality of our game play.

The picture on this page is of a brass statue of Dhanvantari that I have on one of my altars at home.  He reminds me of my divine self.

This is not about promoting myself as being better than anyone or anything else.  It is simply an enablement.

Because by remembering my inner truth, and the truth of my existence on this planet, I can align better to the game play.

I can remember that the processes of what is happening to me, that rattle and assail me, and that seem to be causing damage or awful situations is part of the game play.

In remembering my inner truth, I can understand that such processes are not me.  They are not part of me.  They are only what is affecting my body and the life surrounding my body.

I never have to let them into my soul if I choose not to.

And in not letting them into my soul, I am not letting them affect my attitudes or self-aligned modes.

And I can remain detached even in the thick of it.

And I can remain accepting even of the fate of it.

This what I believe is amrita, the gift of the god force that is present in all elements of existence.  It is a knowledge of divine truth and it’s ceaseless immortality.

Finally, part of my daily mantras are om ma ni pad me hum and om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.

These are important to me because they reveal two basic keys to living – may all beings be happy, and may the joy of god be manifest.

Whatever happens in life, we can still know happiness and joy, simply by realigning our attitudes.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine.

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Sing your world into being

shivaI have a daily ritual of chanting mantras.  I use a set of 108 prayer beads to count each mantra set and do one full round.  It takes me about an hour to complete the task, and then I meditate.

I never used to chant mantras so regularly, nor meditate every day, even though I believe in the efficacy of such rituals and actually create prayer beads that I sell to others.  But after my life became more assailed than usual, I felt I needed a bit more help.

There are many in the world who follow similar rituals, regularly.  Some of them buy my prayer beads(Some just wear them).

At the suggestion of an indian guru, my mantras hail the vedic gods, Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi – but they could be to any gods or goddesses, or to one god, or none at all.

Mantras are simply prayers invoking divine energies (creation energies), and divine energies don’t have to have a face or a name.

In my experience and beliefs, the essence of god has many faces and many names, and these are represented in every faith or religion throughout the world – and even in the faith people have in themselves or in just living, as atheists and agnostics do.

When I first began my mantra rounds, I was calling Shiva in his form of BhairavaBhairava is a fiercer aspect of Shiva, but more actively protective, which the guru thought I needed at the time.  But as time passed, I felt that the energy was too strong and too forceful, and was not so good any more, so today I just pray my mantras to the all-encompassing Shiva and let him (the god) decide what form of his I need in my life.

As well, I added a joyful round of mantras to Vishnu/Krishna before closing that section with a Namaste to them all.  And then finished with the buddhistOm Mani Padme Hum’ mantras, sending out waves of pink healing energy into the world, to give something back…

It’s not always easy to stay focused during my mantra rounds.  Thoughts come and go even as I am uttering the words and names.  I find myself constantly trying to refocus on the multiple candle flames I light in the room, or to breathe in the incense to reawaken myself, even though I always begin my mantra sessions with deep pranic breathing.

I think it is the higher vibrational energy that does it.  My body gets more worked by it, and when I am so busy in my days or in my thoughts, already, it’s a natural reaction to drift, or even to nod off to sleep for a fraction of a second (more likely to happen when I do my mantras in a pre-dawn session).

I sometimes feel frustrated when that happens, because I think it is disrespectful to divine energies – though ‘they’ are telling me it’s okay, and that such thoughts belong only to human beings and the realm we live in.  (Apparently, the divine is much more accommodating).

When I first started my mantra rounds, I used to focus extremely well, fired by the needs that began them.  I would bring great concentration to bear on manifesting better conditions, and would quickly be flushed with a greater sense of empowerment, and noticed very quick changes going on in the world around me, afterwards.

Over time, again, I felt that such concentration was too forceful, and that things were not happening as naturally as they should.  The sense of power also made me over-forceful in my daily relationships, causing friction, which I didn’t like.

Today, I am quieter and gentler in my chanting, but that also means I am more likely to drift or nod.

I contemplated this problem during my rounds, and as usual received an answer.  I was told to not worry about focusing on manifesting the good energies of each divine being I was chanting to, but to just ‘sing my world into being.’

I was told to not worry about outcomes, and just trust that what needed to happen would happen.  So I did, and after that some nice and interesting things began to happen in my life, bringing more hope back.

But then I began to be concerned about this ‘singing my world into being.’   I thought – what if I sung something quite ‘wrong’ into being?  What if my drifting thoughts and micro snoozes set some ‘darker energy’ free to do its work?

I was surprised at the reply I got to those thoughts.  I was told to trust myself.  I was told to believe in my self.  I was told to ignore the flaws and failings of my daily life, the ‘trips’ in my personality, the fallibility of my tongue, or the ‘breezes’ wafting my emotions.

I was reminded that the gods do not need to clear away distractions to do their work .  To them, the noise of life was ‘white noise.’  No different to that of children trying to climb onto your lap when you are working.  They just don’t think about it, and the work gets done.  Like the parent of the child, they automatically deal with the ‘child’  whilst keeping focus on the work that needs to be done.  It is the focus that counts.

It is said that just saying or hearing the mantras will set their energies in motion.  But I wondered, nevertheless, how well my mantras were being set in motion if I was not really thinking of them while uttering them, or if I had nodded off for a moment between one set and another?  Where was my focus?

Then ‘they’ told me that this was not about my mind.  It was not about my heart.  It was not about my physical body or its presence in the world.  It was all about my spirit, and soul.

It was all about my essence, and the underlying factor of all my beliefs.  It was about what my ‘truth’ would ‘sing into being’ if I could have everything the way my spirit or soul wanted it to be, or could imagine it to be. 

I had to think about that.  Stopped mid mantra to do so.  Thought about what my soul aspired to – and realized with surprise that my soul effused ‘goodness’. 

You may ask why I felt surprised, but it is simply that, having come so far through the ‘scathings’ of life I really don’t feel that ‘pure’ a lot of the time, any more.  Damage has been done, that I felt must surely have ‘marked my soul’, no matter what good things I might still do in the world, or what efforts I make to reconnect with the divine through prayers or mantras.

However,  I was ‘told’ that the ‘bottom line of my soul’ is not related to human arguments and conflicts, or to the difficulties that embroil me at times, or that embroil anyone.  It is simply the underlying ‘truth’ of my existence. 

It is the ‘essence’ of me that rises up from the ‘muddy bottom’ of physical life, through the ‘murky waters’ of thoughts and emotion, to become the ‘lotus flower’ spreading its petals under the ‘divine sun’.  It is the ‘cosmic me’.

For life in this world is a schism between the mortal and immortal, the manifested and the never manifested, the physical and the divine.

I am a human being embroiled in the roleplays of a mortal life, but my soul and spirit are divine, and never stop ‘hearing’ the ‘symphony of stars’. 

That is how I can focus even though my body is dealing with distractions.

That focus came from the intentions I set up in doing the mantras at all.  It came from what I believed them to be, and from what I want from them – and that belief is far more than just being selfish… It is a belief in the ‘ultimate goodness of life’, that arose from everything I ever thought beautiful and everything beautiful I want my life to be.

This stems from my ‘soul’, and comes from hearing that divine music – the ‘symphony of stars’.  When I flow with or ‘sing’ that ‘symphony’, I am truly alive and living.  Thus, do I ‘become‘ and thus my world is sung into being’.

Having had this mini revelation, I then ‘saw’ Ganesha, dancing so freely, enjoying life just for the fun of being alive.

I ‘saw’ Shiva, sitting in meditation, serenely contemplating all the galaxies in the universe, and accepting life for what it is, ‘warts’ and all, as beautiful.

I ‘saw’ Lakshmi, not as the provider of wealth, but as the kind, generous and compassionate goddess, giving hugs freely and soothing troubled brows.

And I realized that the pure and unadulterated energy of ‘singing the world into being’ was what Krishna and Vishnu embodied.  It was love – love of life,  love of living, love of making the best of life and living, and love of being.

I loved being alive, for all its flaws and failings, struggles, traumas, and tragedies – and if I had to choose, I would choose just as Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi did in my vision – to dance the dance of life, to be able to meditate serenely without attachment to the whys and wherefores or attaining solutions, and to provide simple nourishment for the assailed souls of all beings so that they could also ‘dance’ and fully be alive.

You may call that a dream, but now I feel good about ‘singing my world into being.’ 

I trust the energies of my deepest inner self to do what is ‘right’, to create what is ‘good’, and to manifest a better place despite what roleplays of life my mind, emotions and body may play out as I function outside my mantra sessions.

In this way, I feel I am manifesting changes in my life, from the inside out.  And when I send out the ‘pink waves of love’, spreading from my ‘pebble in the pond of life’ chanting ‘soul mind’ at the end of each session, I feel like I am sharing something good and wonderful.

This is what I feel it means to ‘get in touch with your source.’  This is what I think it means to ‘know your core essence.’

The deep tap root of life that we brought with us into the world of manifestation is always there.  We only need to look for it, and recognize it when we find it.  And it is ‘good’, because we do not come into the world with damaged souls.

We come here ‘pure’ and amazed by the magical realm we have entered.  And that awe and delight remains present, no matter how old we get or how much assails us, though it can seem to be buried under a ‘dung heap’.

When we ‘sing our world into being’ we ‘sing’ of that ‘magic’ that made us feel happy to greet each day as a child, before any damage ever began…

It’s not a ‘song’ as you physically know a ‘song’.  It doesn’t come from your mouth.  It doesn’t come from your mind, really.  It doesn’t even come from your heart.  It’s a soul memory, of who you really are, and who you really were, before you were born.

To gain access to that primal memory – first, you have to remember who you were as a child, before you ever got hurt.

Second, you have to remember how ‘fun’ it was to explore the world you were born into, then.

Third, you have to put aside the ‘damage’ that has happened, since, and just ‘dance the dance of life’, and in that way ‘sing your world into being’, just as you did way back then…

When your soul ‘sings’, all life becomes a symphony.  Your mind re-attunes to the ‘music of the universe’.  Your body becomes flushed with the ‘harmonies of life’.

What you emit, energizes.  What you imagine, becomes.  And the ‘lyrics’ of ‘universal love’ flow these words through you –

‘Let all beings be happy!’

That is more than a prayer.  It is also an act.  It is a manifestation that comes from innate choice, not forced, but natural – the choice of your ‘spirit’, living fully in its truth.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to be happy, you will be happy, and others will feel your happiness and be affected by it – happiness is infectious.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to have faith, you will find faith, and others will have faith in you – faith imbues.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling, smiling soon feels like the natural thing to do, and others will smile with you – smiling is a gift.

These innate choices allow your ‘soul‘ to ‘sing‘ and help you manifest a better life, not only for yourself but also for others – despite the distractions that come from the ‘white noise’ of living.

So, ‘sing’ your ‘world’ into being.

(Remember though: Like a germinating seed, the growth is from the inside to the out… and change takes time, with much occurring on the inside before the leaves of your ‘tree’ unfurl in the world – but there is a powerhouse of energy in that soul!)

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Ostara, and a bit about my pagan modes…

Photo courtesy of cepolina.com
Photo courtesy of cepolina.com

We are celebrating Ostara tomorrow. This year, we are going up into the mountains to visit our friends and will break feast with them.

Our friends call themselves wiccans, though the title is flexible – just as the general title I give myself in much of my spiritual rituals is druid. Both spiritual modes stem from the same roots and have eight of the same festivals (called the Wheel of the Year).

Being a pagan is a difficult thing in the world I live. Mainstream faiths still reject paganism, though forms such as buddhism are now found more acceptable, mostly due to the promotional efforts of the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Our friends love being pagans and have even erected a small circle of stones on their property, where they enjoy holding their rituals, or just hanging out and communing with nature in – but they get worried that their neighbors live too near and may see them through the shrubbed borders. They worry that their neighbors will find them unacceptable if they know they are pagans, so even as they do rituals on their land they are always keeping an eye out for any who might be hanging around.

In Europe or America, perhaps paganism is more ‘out there’. The traditions are more firmly rooted and, even if other faiths don’t accept paganism, they don’t bat an eyelid when they see it.

In Australia, I often get an immediate sense of withdrawal from people when I tell them I am a pagan (unless they are also a pagan). There is a sense of horror that comes from them even if they are not practicing christians, etc.

I’ve formed a very clear picture of how mainstream religious propaganda has worked its way deep into the bloodstream of even the atheists, and many people seem to instantly believe that pagans kill little babies and drink their blood. (That’s just a metaphor. Some people don’t think that way, but they do seem to think that pagans are up to no good).

It doesn’t happen like that. (I’m referring to sacrifices). I don’t know that it ever did. I do know that a couple of thousand years ago the romans were having trouble keeping the celtic people down so they spread a deep propaganda about their lifestyle.

Such things were normal in ancient times. Even the ancient egyptian pharoahs rewrote obelisks with their own version of history when they came to power and usurped previous rulers.

The romans were trying to assert their authority amongst a very widespread and varied conquered community. Having failed to manage the still unconquered celts and stop their raids on roman settlements, the best way to undermine them was to take away their ability to find shelter in the lands they traversed as they rebelled against roman rule.

Malign gossip does that. Spread malign gossip and even people who like you look at you with questions in their eyes. If that malign gossip says you make human sacrifices and especially prey on newborns, whole communities will stand against you without even discussing the matter first, just so you don’t get any opportunity to do it to them. That’s how propaganda embeds.

Once the romans became christians, they upped their ante on the celts. The romans were opportunists who had absorbed the good elements of every society they managed, and made them their own. Take a look at the columns on roman buildings and you will see the ancient designs from greek architecture. If you go to Greece, those columns are made from solid rock, carved and slotted together with superb precision. The columns you can see in ancient Pompeii, however, are pseudo greek columns. To save time and effort, the romans created a rubble filled column, veneered it with a brick shell and plastered that with concrete to make it look like carved stone.

They did a similiar thing with religion. When they decided they liked the greek gods better than what they had at the time, they usurped the whole kit and caboodle and just renamed the gods and modified some of the story-lines to suit roman taste. Soon, all the romans were visiting Jupiter and Venus, Apollo and Diana, etc., in their temples, (who used to be Zeus and Aphrodite, Helios and Athena in Greece).

When they finally did quell the celts, they did the same with the celtic spiritual faith of druidism. By that time, the romans had also become christians, so they melded two faiths into one and chucked out the old roman (used to be greek) gods.

Celtic spirituality and christianity had something in common which the romans admired. They both brought the masses together in firm obedience of spiritual law.

Since the romans were always on the alert for opportunities to benefit themselves, they realized that these faiths could control the people across their widespread conquered communities in a far better way than strong arming them with soldiers ever did. It took up a lot less resources, too.

So that’s how christianity got the festivals of Yule (or Christmas), and Easter.

There were no such festivals in the original christian faith. The original christian faith was an offshoot of judaism. If anything, they would have celebrated hannukah, passover, and similiar. It wasn’t until the romans absorbed christianity and druidism at the same time that christianity became druidic.

Druidism was the spiritual belief system of the ancient celts. While they had names for gods, goddesses, and elemental energies they also believed in reincarnation, so names in the long term of immortal life were really irrelevant.

When you have thousands of names from thousands of lifetimes, it’s really a matter of ‘pick one.’ So when the romans took over the celtic spiritual faith of druidry and renamed the same gods and goddesses and elemental forces as saints, angels, and patrons of christianity, the celts didn’t bat an eyelid. So long as the meanings were the same and the rituals were similiar, the celts were very adaptable in their spiritual modes. That’s how the celts became christians (or christian themed druids, per se).

Honestly, you could say that druidism never really died out at all. Modern christianity is today very different from judaism, and it’s all to do with its celtic roots.

Celtic festivals such as Ostara (called Easter in christianity) were also very long events in ancient times. They could go for two to three weeks at a time, because people gathered from far and wide to attend and they didn’t want to just roll up for a ritual and go straight back home again.

Feasting and dancing and getting together with friends, and also taking the opportunity to do some political groundwork and law-making, all happened in this period, and the main ritual was semi-flexible around the solstice or equinox of the season. That’s why christians were able to move the solstice ritual of Yule to the fixed point of a roman calendar day in December (Christmas day).

To understand this flexibility, you need to know that celtic rituals were not calendar oriented but season aligned.

That’s why we are celebrating Ostara this weekend. Ostara is a spring festival, the Feast of New Life. In Australia, spring is now. The spring equinox happens this week. here. In the northern hemisphere, it’s autumn (or fall, in America). They will be celebrating the ritual of Mabon at this time, which revolves around the autumnal equinox. Both are seed rituals. Ostara seeds new life in the world. Mabon seeds new life in the spirit.

You might ask why did I choose to align myself with druid modes rather than wicca, as my friends do? Because I resonated better with the modes of druidry, that’s all.

Paganism is like that, especially celtic sourced paganism (although buddhism has similiar choices). You don’t really have to follow any particular theme to be a pagan other than an honoring of all life, worldly or spiritual, and all its connections.

I can go to the rituals of our wiccan friends for Ostara because, even though they call the names of animal and bird spirits to witness their rites,(where I call archangels and mother/father god), it’s all about the intent and the energies being called upon, not really about names.

There are some other reasons why I loosely call myself a druid (at least in my rituals).

Druidry is now a recognised religion in the United Kingdom.

It used to be just a spiritual faith but it has finally got its well-deserved kudos. (All those solstice events at Stonehenge really paid off… just kidding).

That wasn’t why I aligned to it, though. I was doing that for years before druidry became official. For me, druidry was my choice because of its adaptability, and because of its acceptance and absorption of all other religions and spiritual faiths.

Druidry believes in all people being on the same path toward the divine. Actually, it believes we are all elements of the divine, and that everything and everyone that exists is connected as parts of the divine.

I’m not sure how things are done in the United Kingdom now Druidry has become a religion, but in the days when it was a simple spiritual faith you could be a buddhist, a christian, a jew or a muslim, or any other faith at all and still be a druid.

(This may help you to understand why I can also happily attend any religious or spiritual event, in temples or churches of any faith. The divinity I honor is an archetype, and archetypes cross all lines or demarcations).

You begin to see why and how the druids allowed the romans to take over their faith and even align it with christianity – because it’s all about the energies, the expression of those energies, and the connections – about all humanity, no matter from what country or language or whatever modes they use to forge life in this world, existing as one being in spirit.

Tomorrow, my closest family will celebrate Ostara. This feast is named after the celtic goddess of new life.

The words oestrogen and oestrus come from the goddess Ostara’s name, which is also spelt Oestre. These words relate to hormones that make a woman an entity who can become pregnant and give birth, and the sexuality and desire that makes her amenable to be impregnated. (If you have ever seen the statuette of the archaeological find called the ‘Goddess of Willendorf’, the goddess Ostara is expressed in this child-bearing figure).

The symbols of Ostara have long been the hare (now an Easter rabbit) and the egg (now an Easter egg). These elements are about virility (sexuality for intense breeding, as the hare or rabbit does) and new life (the egg and all its potential).

In Australia at this time, Ostara does not align with the christian period of Easter. Those events do happen around the same time in the northern hemisphere in spring but not here. We only get our store-bought chocolate eggs at Mabon, which is another type of egg (seeder) ritual. We have to cook and paint our own eggs for Ostara.

Usually, we have a brunch with friends or family on the weekend closest to the equinox, so we can all get together on a day when we don’t have to work. That brunch often has eggs in it. We love making omelettes.

It’s a day of being thankful for what we have, and of noting the new elements of life coming into being, the seeds of the future ahead of us. It’s about feeling blessed by the divine and making sure we look at all the ways divinity does that for us, so we don’t miss anything and certainly don’t take it for granted.

Yes, we will be making a sacrifice, but only of part of our delicious feast, which is spilled onto the ground to return it to the cycle of life. (The birds, animals, and insects polish this off…)  In this way we give our tithe to the divine and say thank you for all we have been given.

The ritual of Easter, celebrated by the christians, has similiar themes of new life. While christ dies on the cross, his body is taken down and then reborn in a spiritual manifestation. In his resurrection, he wipes away the sins of the past and enables new beginnings.

These are the same modes used for Ostara, just with a different story. Each spring, we are given the opportunity to begin again, to seed a new life, and to honor all life in its divine manifestation.

(Well, we can actually do that any time, but since many people forget that they have the ability to do it, we can use rituals to remind us… Pagan rituals are no different to the modes of any other religion or faith attending temple or church, but our temple is the world, itself).

The rituals of paganism are always reflections on the rites of passage in life.

The elements expressed touch on birth, death, relationship, sorrow, joy, and many other subjects that people may often find difficult to express or deal with in the course of their lives.

In using ritual this way, pagans enable a learning or processing experience for these mundane events. They also transform them into simple phases of existence in the life of the divine.

Blessings to all, and may the year ahead be full of wonderful new beginnings, fresh starts and youthful exuberance!

Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine