Friday, April 19, 2013

You Say Tomayto; I Say Tomahto

I have been led in the past few years to revisit my theological roots from my current position as a psychic. As some of you may know, my early metaphysical background lies in Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity. I got my BA in Biblical Studies and History, as a pre-seminary major at a conservative college in Florida. My intent then was to go to seminary. I was accepted twice to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston. This is a a prestigious school that is part of a consortium of institutes of higher learning, one of which is Harvard. Had I gone there for my Masters of Divinity, I would have been free to attend classes at Harvard, as well as several other universities in the area with theological schools. Both times after being accepted, I was guided away from following through on those plans. I suspect because I had other things to learn that could not have been learned in seminary. So instead, I went on to work in social work for over four years, dealing with abused teenagers from dysfunctional families.

From there my path continued to lead me in various directions including becoming a foster mother to six teenage daughters (NOT all at the same time), moving to NC, and after leaving Christianity, founding a Women's Spirituality group (dubbed Wi'Spir for wimmin and spirituality). Wimmin is a feminist spelling that was suggested decades ago to replace woman, since women were attempting to reclaim language from its misogynistic and male-dominated base. Anyway, I led that group, which was not part of any organized group, but was a free-spirited, free-thinking group, completely of my own making, but which fits most closely with what Margot Adler described in Drawing Down the Moon, as a Dianic Wiccan group. I did not then, nor do I now, claim the label Wiccan, because I am a fan neither of labels nor of organized religion of any flavor. I had gotten a bad taste in my mouth while moving in and out of conservative Christian circles. While I have studied Wiccan teachings and thought, just as I have studied Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist thought, I have chosen to embrace fully none of these labels, though I was comfortable for a while to wear the label of Taoist. It still reflects a lot of what I think, feel, and have experienced to be true. However, in the past several years, since reconnecting with angels in a big way, I have felt that label didn't really allow for a complete understanding of where I am at present on my spiritual path.

While I have in no way returned to Christianity, I no longer get a twitch reading writings from the Christian tradition. Granted, I veer  towards liberal Christian thought, but that is so much more than I could do even just a couple of years ago. I could handle reconnecting with angels because they are limited to no specific religion and are present in all, without requiring an affiliation with any of them. Plus they allow room not for only the experience of psychic phenomena, but also the language of it. While involved in Charismatic and Pentecostal Christian circles, I was encouraged to participate via biblical teachings in developing and allowing psychic phenomena in my spiritual practice. Of course, the powers that be didn't use the word psychic. Instead they referred to them as "gifts (or manifestations) of the Spirit," as found in the New Testament book, First Corinthians (chapter 12, verses 7-11):

 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit ; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues11 But one and the same Spirit works all these thingsdistributing to each one individually just as He wills(New American Standard Version of the Bible) 

What, pray tell, is the writer speaking of here if not psychic phenomena? Putting a Christian label on them doesn't change the metaphysical reality. During my ten-year stint in Christianity, I was encouraged to allow these psychic gifts to develop, and that is what I did. It took a while after I left Christianity for me to realize that these gifts were psychic abilities, something I think we all have to varying degrees. That I honed my psychic abilities in the midst of conservative Christian teachings is humorous to me now, given that their opinion of psychics is not merely dim. They think psychic phenomena are demonic. But you can't have it both ways. You can't call them the "gifts of the Holy Spirit" when a Christian demonstrates them and call them "demonic" when someone outside of their community manifests them.  The writer (presumably the Apostle Paul) says, "one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."

As I continue walking a spiritual path, I have had to look back more than once at my early spiritual path and be grateful that I was able to nurture and develop my spiritual/psychic skills in an environment that was both personally safe and fairly socially acceptable at the time. I also received a lot of spiritual teaching that has come back to me at significant junctures, reminding me of things I already knew, because truth is truth no matter where you encounter it. Whatever you choose to call them, I was trained as a teenager to open myself to psychic phenomena and those gifts are with me still, continuing to grow stronger and continuing to inform me and guide me.