Eastern Orthodoxy and Divinzation

Most Protestant Christians balk heavily at the Eastern Orthodox belief in

Theosis (the act of becoming one with God), but really, do they have to?

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Theosis, or divinization—making something divine–isn’t a far cry from the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which many evangelical fundamentalists talk about with a great deal of fervor. They can’t wait for this blessed event (oh, boy can’t they!) First there’s the Rapture, Armageddon, Judgement, and then the pinnacle of their existence; their Marriage to Christ himself.

But what is a marriage, but the union of two into one?

Excusez-moi?

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Seems to me, in the end, both parties are saying the same thing.

If Theosis and The Wedding are the same, then what about the belief in other world religions that we are one with God already, because we came from him, and we will return to him.

I know the arguments here—mostly from evangelicals, and I’ve heard them all before, ad nauseam—that for starters, unlike Christians, who see us humans as irrevocably separate from God, Buddhists and Hindus believe we are already one with him(and her) and that our separation is an illusion in our heads.

I know I can take ideas most people see as completely opposing and link them together. It comes from being both left and right brained at the same time, BUT, I still think all these supposedly conflicting views are saying the SAME thing, just in different ways.

For example, if you see yourself as already one with God, and every time you have a thought that conflicts with that oneness you quickly remind yourself it’s an illusion, wouldn’t you, over time become more God-like? More loving, less judgmental, more in charge of yourself, your thoughts and actions toward others?

I think you would.

In fact, it might be psychologically healthier, and more productive than calling yourself a big fat sinner doomed and deserving of hell because you had the audacity to be born. Hmmm…. that just doesn’t sound productive to me. It’s like being on a diet and saying, I won’t eat the cookie over and over, until you eat the cookie because it’s all you can think about. Wouldn’t it be better to say something like, “I love carrots, so I’m going to eat one,” and then keep saying it until you love carrots so much you can’t think about cookies anymore?

Yeah, I think that sounds better.

Just my opinion, but it seems most of the world’s religions are getting to the same point, in their own way, kinda like the proverb about three blind men petting an elephant and trying to describe what animal it is. They all say something different, and yet they are all petting an elephant none the less.

Could it be that we are all touching God

Collective Reading-Jupiter Retrograde April 2019

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Retrogrades can bring chaos into our daily lives but they’re really there to help us regain vision with clarity and foresight. Jupiter retrograde is no exception. Since Jupiter brings us abundance we will feel the influence of the loss of this energy both at work and in relationships. We’ll be with this retrograde all the way from April 10th to August 11th, so let’s take a look at where we’re at as we head into this time of resettling and regaining purpose in our lives. Think of it as a time to plan for and foster future abundance!

 

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Three of Pentacles reminds us to take the time to listen. Whether we’re working on a group project at school, a joint collaboration at work, or on our relationships, it’s definitely time to take a breath, really listen to what others are saying with a clear head and as little personal bias as possible (it’s hard, I know. We all do it…) Also be sure to listen to your inner voice and to express yourself to others with clarity. You too deserve to be heard, even over the bustle of your own life.

10 of Cups reversed. There are no bad cards in the tarot, and this card is one of supreme emotional abundance; that it’s in reverse is actually less troublesome than if it were not there at all! The ten of Cups is reminding us that we have emotional fulfillment already within, so there is no need to look outside of ourselves to people or circumstances for peace, joy, or comfort of the heart. Ask Spirit and she will give to you abundantly (retrograde or not) the love and fullness that you need.

Queen of Pentacles reminds us of steady earth-motion. She is no ordinary woman but a master of her earth-bound abode. As she looks intently at her coin she reminds us to precede into this retrograde with planning and forethought. Don’t overspend, be aware that finances could possibly be down during this time. Keep an eye on the accounts, so to speak. But she also reminds us of our domestic responsibilities. Even if you’re a student, a manly man, or a single person you still have a home, a car, a cat… Take care of what is in your sphere and respect the abundance that is already in your life, whether it be a mansion or a pet hamster!

I also pulled some Vintage Wisdom Oracle cards to go with the tarot:

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As is usually the case, they reinforce and confirm what we find in the other cards. Move forward with this retrograde without fear, be grateful and have joy for all the wonderful things you already have (and for who you are). This is a time for gaining momentum that will transmute your energy into abundance after this retrograde which has been written in the stars by the hand of the Divine himself.

Peace, love, and namaste,

Darcy

They’re So Worried

They’re so worried, the corporate church, the logicians, the scientific minds who believe only in what’s been tested and approved of.

And we know why.

Wicca, witchcraft, mysticism, and paganism are on the rise, and the Emperor energy (archetype) thinks we have gone insane.

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He pops his pills to get happy, fuels himself with caffeine for yet another day in a cubicle (noticeably falling apart at the seams). We watch, shrugging because he won’t listen to a thing we say.

We’re the ones who have become unhinged, he tells us…

The reality of it all is that we as a culture have become so disconnected from the cycles of nature that it’s destroying our minds and our bodies. More than that, it’s killing our relationships too. As humans we’re no longer interdependent. I don’t walk downtown, buy from the baker whom I know, the butcher who’s my cousin, the pharmacist who’s engaged to my neighbor… No. I go out and shuffle with the herd in a sea of faces. At the customer service counter someone is yelling at the employee who’s just following the protocol his boss gave him.

Everyone thinks they’re right.

Everyone thinks they’re better.

(But not really, no, because it’s their disconnect that makes them so miserable.)

That’s why Witchcraft, Paganism, and Mysticism are becoming increasingly popular choices. We’re tired. Tired of feeling sick and out of tune with the reality that we are—believe it or not—eternal, spiritual beings meant for more than vanilla lattes with chocolate sprinkles.

We see. We listen. We have eyes to see and ears to hear. We watch the moon in her phases, the sun as he changes his track across the sky. We note the tides and feel Mother Earth gearing for spring, or falling asleep for winter. Not because we’re unhinged, but because we know. We know that there is more to life than Net Flicks and pizza. We can feel it, and we’re happier and healthier for it too.

For many of us, our families watch with guarded eyes, as do our neighbors and religious leaders. They’re so sick and unhappy themselves, but they don’t have the eyes to see what’s wrong. They’re in so deep they’re not even looking for a cure. Well, they are, that’s why they pop antidepressants and whine for a better day. But all the complaining just keeps them stuck, the pills became addictive, the caffeine gives them insomnia, and then they get some more pills to ‘’cure’’ it.

Meanwhile, we feel for spring coming, and pray that those we love find their better way. It doesn’t have to be our way. We’re not interested in taking away their free will after all, just a way that brings them back into alignment with their authentic selves.

The Byzantine Tarot Review

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I was really looking forward to getting this deck because I’m a big fan of iconography. Unfortunately, it looks like it had a rough time getting here:

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But okay, it’s just the little book, which I’ll probably only use for a week or two at best… A few of the cards weren’t cut very well though.

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I got past that because I really did want all that beautiful artwork right under my fingers.

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It looks better in the photos. The images on the card faces aren’t as crisp as they should be. The card stock is really just too thick and that makes for some difficult shuffling, especially if you’re shuffling challenged (like I am).

I know, I know, all that sounds pretty negative. I’ve been working with this deck for a few weeks and it does have its good sides. It’s easy to read and doesn’t deviate too far from the comfort of the Rider-Waite system. I wouldn’t say it’s going to usurp my favorite deck (The Mucha Tarot) but it’s not going into that box in my attic anytime soon either. The Byzantine Tarot would be great for readings with clients from a Catholic background, especially if they really want a reading but feel like they might be doing something wrong.

The producers of this deck stated they tried not too make it overly Christian, BUT, I mean, come on, it’s a deck full of early church iconography, so it can’t really be helped…

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So, there it is; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s by no means perfect but if you’re drawn to iconography, or your Catholic and feel more centered around biblical images then this would be a great match for you.

Happy reading, everyone.

 

 

 

A Quick General Reading: Joy Abounds

 

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“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.” ― Steve Maraboli

I don’t usually do general readings but I felt the urge to pull a few cards today for anyone who might wander on over here and gain some insight from it.

…Well, all I can say is that we’re having a good day out there. Looks like things have taken an upswing. Relations with family and friends (for some it may be coworkers) are going well and there is a sense of comradery. On a more personal note, you may be feeling in your element, self-aware and in control of finances, relationships, and the inner self.

Yay you! Get together with some loved ones, dance, sing, and enjoy life. It’s definitely the time for it!

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Hugs,

Darcy

 

The Problem with Tarot

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Tarot Mucha by Lo Scarabeo  

*Warning. Do not get involved with either tarot or oracle cards if you are in any way in doubt of their safety. Be firm and clear with yourself before bringing a deck into your home. Personally, I don’t condone any attempt to read the future through the cards. They really suck at predicting the future so there’s no point. What they are good at, however, is self-awareness and self-diagnoses.*

I’m not going to get into the history of tarot because, for one, no one can verify the real history; it’s vague and open to the interpretation of scantily recorded historical events, and second, even a casual google search will bring up ten different versions of the story, anyway. The last thing anyone needs is yet another dart thrown at a board with no bulls-eye in hopes of getting at least somewhere in the vicinity of the truth.

What I am going to say is that, yes it does work. I used to think it was a whole bunch of silly, then, during a confusing point in my life I felt drawn toward a particular deck of playing cards, while I was at Walmart no less. Carefully, and praying madly about it the whole time, I purchased them. It was just a regular deck of poker cards with some pretty design on the back of them, but somehow I knew I’d find the answers to my questions within.

I did an internet search and found out how to read playing cards like you might a tarot deck, and then popped the big question. I got some serious answers right away, and found that reading the cards worked exactly in the same way as dream interpretation (which I’d already been doing for several years). Even though those answers had brought me peace, I’d actually put the cards  away soon after, still struggling with whether or not it was okay for me to communicate with God in this way.

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Soon after, I had a dream, where I was essentially told (through symbolism of course) that while the cards weren’t evil in and of themselves, I needed to use caution with them, because using them was sort of like putting my already sensitive awareness on steroids. Basically, I was warned to be easy with it, or risk kicking my empathic abilities into overdrive, sending myself into a tail-spin of confusion.

So, did I put them away for good? You bet I did! Just kidding. No, I didn’t. I bought myself a real deck of tarot cards and proceeded to drive myself into a Dark Night of the Soul. “Dark Night of the Soul” too, can be googled, if anyone is interested.

In the end, that Dark Night was necessary for me, to set aside some ego issues I was struggling with at the time. Now I’m able to control myself with the cards, so it worked out. However, I have the sense that God would have dealt with my issues in a gentler way had I not sped things up for myself by using the cards. I do still use them, but not every day. Often, I just pick one single card to meditate on for a while.

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I do think tarot is great for self-healing, with a giant caveat. If you are in any way feeling neurotic, or have obsessive compulsive disorders then stand clear of them. Try an angel healing deck, or some other kind of gentle oracle deck instead. Or just skip out on them altogether and try keeping a daily journal to work through any problems you might be struggling with in your life. Journaling alone can be a great source of information. As you read back though your entries you will see yourself changing, growing, and becoming slowly more self-aware over time, even without cards.

Sadly, the truth is that we are most likely to turn to the cards when we’re not being our best self, so again, use caution and make sure you’re in the right headspace. It’s almost better to have already been at least part way through your personal “Hero’s Journey” before you even pick them up in the first place. And since there are other ways to heal yourself, like angel cards, meditation, good music, and positive life choices, I would recommend that those come first, tarot after.

 

 

Soul Mates, Twin Flames, and Judaism

 

 

There’s a lot of talk about Twin Flames out there in cyberspace, and how they differ from Soul Mates; the Karmic Soul Partner. According to Jewish tradition there’s no specific distinction between Twin Flame and Soul Mate/Karmic Partner. They believe that every relationship (specifically a marriage relationship) is bashert, a Yiddish word for ‘fated’. They don’t believe that every marriage you will be in will be with your true soul mate, so yes, there is some wiggle room for what could be called a Karmic Mate in their tradition but it’s not as distinct.

According to Jewish belief, every soul, when created by God, is then split into two halves, like Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. According to this, everyone has a Soul Mate/Twin Flame, however that doesn’t necessarily mean the person you are with is them. It may be bashert, but not your true other half. I’m not sure this is any less complicated than the New Age version of this concept, but there it is…

Does all that Soul Mate, Twin Flame, Bashert business mean you should dump the chump you’re with because you’re not completely head-over-heels happy, and go looking for your TF?

Yes, absolutely. You totally deserve the perfect match for you in every way. Someone who will never fight with you (i.e. challenge you to grow), never tell you you’re wrong, and give you such fantastic sex that you’ll never leave the bedroom; run out of money, and starve to death with your creditors lined up down the block. Especially if you are married to them—no, not your creditors—I mean, really, everyone is getting divorced these days so you might as well do it too. It’s practically a rite of passage, so just do it already. Oh, afraid you might hurt your spouse, who is essential a good, altruistic person. Meh, it’s good for them. You’re just opening a door to heaven so God can teach them all about being used and how love is for losers anyway.

Sadly, I could go on like this forever but no one would find it amusing except for me, and probably my dad who is just sick enough to find that kind of thing funny. This attitude however is essentially why even though I consider myself a mystic (and yes, my moon is in Aquarius) I could never be full on New Age. Seriously, some of the stuff they come up with…

But I digress.

It’s one thing if your current partner is abusive, has cheated on you, or the marriage is already failing with absolutely no hope of reconciliation. But, really, if you’re about to drop a good man or woman simply because you think there is someone better for you then I’m sorry, but I find that pretty selfish. According to Jewish tradition every marriage is bashert. Meant to be. How can you be absolutely sure the person you’re with isn’t your Soul Mate? There’s no saying, either in Judaism or any other religion for that matter, that relationships will be easy.

Often times it’s the trees that grow the most slowly that produce the best fruit.

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Judaism allows for reincarnation too. They believe the Devine Feminine doesn’t need to incarnate as many times as the male (interesting concept, coming from the belief that women are uniquely aware of God in ways that men aren’t.) If you’re a man reading this, sorry to break this to you, but your other half might be with God right now, waiting for you to not fluff it up for a change. LOL.

I suppose this does leave some room for the idea that your soul mate could be one of your Ministering Spirits, as the Christian New Testament calls them. Some call them Spirit Guides. Catholics would call them Saints. If that’s the case then, again, most likely you’re male. The Jewish tradition also believes that the Devine Masculine is always incarnated into a male body and the Feminine into a female.

Females can choose to reincarnate, in love for her soul mate, because she wishes to accompany him. Does that mean it’s easier for a female to find her Soul Mate? Well, not necessarily. According to tradition, if he really screws things up, God will send her to a man without a soul mate currently incarnated, for her own protection. Something to keep in mind if you’re a woman out there having a hard time finding her Twin Flame. It could be he’s just not ready for you yet. Either that or he’s a real arse, and you might be better off loving the one you’re with anyway.

One thing I really like about the Jewish take on this (or at least the modern interpretation) is that it views women from a positive light. Certain other religions could learn a few things here (Fundamental Christianity included). I’m sickened by how quick they are to blame everything they perceive to be evil on women. Have you ever read the writings of the early church fathers for example? I mean, really? Sexually oppressed much, are you people?!

But I digress… Again.

This is just one of several interpretations on Twin Flames, but I do find it all really fascinating how the Jewish tradition has this worked out in their minds. They account for marriages with decent people that really shouldn’t be dissolved because you thought you shared a sudden psychic bond with someone from across a room, and women are seen as a uniquely valuable and necessary counterpart to the Devine Masculine, not natural-born Jezebels in wait to consume men whole. (Well, ok, there are some women like that out there, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.)