The Mystic Pagan: Samhain

The Mystic Pagan: Samhain October 11, 2020

This is a very powerful pagan holiday where the thinning of the vale between the two worlds takes place.  It is said that one is able to connect with loved ones who have passed onto the other side of the vale during this time.  As we approach the new year, October 31, the vale becomes thinner until spirits are able to pass through.  Cakes and cookies are left out in some cultures, to appease our loved ones and other spirits passing by.  I find all of this very interesting, but how many people really believe it?

I only ask this because I have been raised in a paradigm that is based on material science.  It says that that which cannot be measured and weighed really doesn’t exist.  But many of our ancestors from various faiths and traditions believed in something similar to that which I have mentioned.  It may have looked different.  It may have taken place at a different time.  It may have been constant contact throughout the year instead of once.  How is it that we have suddenly come to believe that it isn’t true and just a metaphor?

I think that we have all been affected and infected by a certain type of magik.  That term isn’t usually used when we speak of secular society, but we have been influenced.  We have been socialized.  We have been shamed.  The type of ideals that thought that we could connect with other people on the other side of the vale have been demonized by many western religions, and by the scientific community, making us ashamed to believe that the belief systems of our ancestors were not only false, but ignorant.

Myth vs Magik

We find ourselves living in a world where we really don’t believe much of anything magical.  We look at it as myth.  We have learned to quickly shift it to metaphor in our minds, not realizing that, perhaps, it all may be true.  It all may be real.  The struggle then is not to just believe everything we hear from secular society, but to begin to use our abilities to understand how we have been shaped and how our world views have become our cage.

People in Western Europe who held pagan beliefs and those aligned with earth based traditional ideals were murdered.  They were killed generation after generation for almost 500 years or more–several generations, to wipe that type of thinking out of the genetic memory of Western European society.  It was frightening.  It was horrible.  It was so horrendous that we don’t want to think about it or the repercussions that had to take place in the human psyche because of it.  It is now time to face it and to go back and to reclaim some of these beliefs as more than metaphor.

That is the delight, I think, of the mystic pagan.  The mystic pagan reclaims what has been taken by observing the belief systems from the past and by giving those people in the past who were very adept, and who mastered the environment of which they were part without the help of any of the technology that we have today credit.  The mystic pagan realizes that people were not stupid or ignorant just because they were not like us, and realizes that those beliefs and traditions that lasted for thousands of years before being violently cut off, must have had some value and reality.

This leads to a deep exploration of some of these old belief systems in an experiential sort of way, and holding onto what is good and letting go of what doesn’t work.  I have been a mystic for many years.  I had a hunger to know the truth as I practiced many spiritual disciplines to come to the truth.  I was found by a Goddess.  Some would say this is a metaphor.  I don’t think so.  My belief that it is real is what makes all of the difference.  My actions that pour forth from that experience creates a lifestyle that, in essence, makes the experience real.

What are the belief systems in your life creating right now.  What are you making real?  How are you using your magik in our world of psychological manipulation and spin?  Perhaps this world in the 21st Century is more unreal than crossing the vale and seeing the truth. Perhaps entering into the root of your being to see the unity of all existence where all crossroads meet; all deities become one; and we all realize and acknowledge that we are one; we are whole; and we are timeless eternal beings coming to this world to perform the great dance is the path to the truth.  We are all involved in the spiral dance weaving and unweaving life and love and all that it does. That is what is real and is what these traditional beliefs led us to do.

About Rev. Dr. Om Prakash Gilmore
Rev. Dr. John Gilmore (Om Prakash) was a UU Minister for more than fifteen years and is a retired UU Minister now doing a community based ministry in Health, Wellness, and Healing He served as a Parish Minister for many years, and a Wellness and Social Justice Community Minister at UU Church of Bedford, MA as working as the Director of the MA Chapter of the UUJEC and later the Co-Director and Director of the UUJEC National. Om Prakash was also a JUUST UU Consultant, and Director of Racial and Social Justice for the Joseph Priestley District. He has been a CUUPS member for several years and is now serving on the CUUPS Board in the Ministerial and Right Relations position. You can read more about the author here.
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