"I am a Dedicant."
"Ok... I don't know what that is, but who am I to argue with you".
"A Dedicant is a person, male or female, who is, very literally, the spouse or lover of the Divine in this sphere of existence. For the god to whom I am a Dedicant, I am Wife on Earth. Wife of Flesh."
"Sort of Crist's Bride. Ok."
"It's uncanny how much of a whirlwind that simple word can stir. I've watched jaws drop open; seen people stammer; and have had them rapidly change the subject."
"Oh... It is uncanny... what has it to do with anyone else how you choose to relate to God and magic?"
"I've also been told that the type of magick I practice is "not possible" or that my experiences are doubtful because:
a) The gods do not mingle among us mere mortal creatures except in symbolic form;
b) The stories of that sort of thing happening are thousands of years old and, since no others have been recorded, there are obviously no more and never will be;
c) Why would you want to talk about a mystical experience so very personal? Those should only be discussed in theoretical and/or academic debates and certainly anyone who makes the claim to be doing this is suspicious;
and, my favorite,
d) If that god was going to do something like that, he would have told me himself."
"Oh? Interesting... If Gods walked among us 2000 and 4000 years ago, the Gods walk among us today. Now, I don't believe they do. There is only One God who doesn't interact with people in flesh. Or that is what I believe. But I am not denying your experience - or the experience of the others sharing your experience - just your interpretation of your experience. I believe you have an angelic lover. Nothing bad with that either. I'm not unfamiliar with that either. It just isn't part of my spirituality. Now, what comes to sharing an intimate and personal mystical experience - those SHOULD be shared with among friends and co-believers. If a high priestess cannot share her spiritual experience with her group, there's something seriously wrong with the group. What comes to God informing his other dedicants, isn't it His choice and his alone? Who am I to question the decisions and the wisdom of a God?"
"When did we get fundamentalist Pagans?"
"They have been among us always, dear Sapphire..."
"I interact daily with the Divine on many levels, from a simple stroke on the hair to high sex magick. I regularly "travel" to the Otherworlds where I have remained for what has seemed to be weeks there, only to find that it has been a few hours here. While there, I am exposed to great teachings and have had many mysteries revealed to me. I am honored and humbled to have earned this privilege."
"Good for you! And of course you should be sharing the teachings and mysteries with your group, if not the whole world."
"My High Priest, Shadowdragon, who is also my fiancée, has shown remarkable faith and strength of character by sharing in my practice. While most men would, and have, found my link to the Divine to be either a source of jealousy or could not bring themselves to fully participate, he has surprised me by accepting me wholeheartedly. Not only does he fold his practices into mine, but I find that my rituals and rites have greater energy. Not many men would have the confidence to share their wife with a god. It is to my great happiness that I listened when the Divine whispered over my shoulder, "This time, let me choose."
"Sounds absolutely lovely. Good for you."
"But, while a source of great energy, being a Dedicant, at least for me, has also been something of a burden. It means that all my workings focus through one deity."
"And that is a problem, because...?"
"How I relate to other gods and goddesses is directly influenced by my workings with this god."
"Why would you relate to other Gods and Goddesses?"
"There are deities who do not play well together which means that I have no contact with at least one popular goddess. Can't help others with their workings there."
"Why should you? It seems to me your work is very strictly defined and in my mind it's crazy to expect of you any help with any other Gods."
"I also have a harder time relating to the more traditionally female aspects of the craft. Moon phase? Sorry. I'll have to look up the info for that, as it simply has no bearing on how I work."
"There is nothing feminine about moon phases. In some cultures Moon is male. But when it has no bearing on how you work, why the heck should you even care of it? We all work magic in our own ways."
"It also means that I have hidden in a broomcloset within a broomcloset."
"With reactions like that, I can understand that."
"My mind was changed by having to defend myself yet again to what I thought was a community of people who might have, if not exactly the same, at least similar experiences to mine."
"Why? You don't need to defend yourself just because someone attacks you... or because someone doesn't approve you or your ways or thinks you're crazy. I think you're barking mad, but it really has nothing to do with me, and my opinion really doesn't have anything to do with you. So why are you defending yourself and your ways?"
"In the process, it occurred to me that I do not honor the gods by keeping silent."
"Depends on Gods..."
"It is through sharing our experiences with each other that we learn and that we teach."
"And through sharing what we have learned without experiencing it, or through experiencing ourselves."
"What honor to the Divine if all mystical experiences are kept greedily to one's self?"
"Depends on the Divine, again. Some Gods are honored through the respect of privacy. The experience was given to you, and, frankly, you cannot mediate your experiences even if you spoke like Shakespeare with the language of angels. Mystical experiences especially."
"Or if they are packaged off in little bits and only to the "worthy."
"Now, that... the latest fab is to give mystical knowledge to the "unworthy", who doesn't understand one bit but who will rape the wisdom, trample the pearls of knowledge into mud and bite your hand as thanks. They will also spread the knowledge tainted, tarred and twisted."
"Why is there such hostility to mystical experiences?"
"Envy... Inability to understand what it is... and usually people who are incapable to have mystical experiences think it's mostly waste of time and bullcock."
"I'm noticing more and more that people want to discuss technicalities within the craft."
"It is exactly because they are not "worthy"! It is EASY to memorize lists of herbs and Goddesses than really understand why we celebrate the Sabbaths. Anyone can arrange the altar "properly", buy pretty things decorated with pentagrams, dress witchily or go naked, but mystical experiences are not for everyone.
"Why are people not caught up in sitting and offering themselves to the Divine with perfect love and perfect trust? (Remember that concept?)"
"Yes, I do remember that empty trite. I believe we are here to LIVE, not to hunt for the extacy of mystical experiences, how ever much one might "learn". That to me is greedy and egoistic, but it's probably because I don't think mystical experiences and what you learn from them can be shared, and I find turning away from world and closing oneself in a cloister cowardly and egocentric - even if the cloister in only in my mind. But that's me."
"Is the problem that there are too many Pagans now learning strictly from a few high profile authors and the internet and are not interacting with elders who may have more to share?"
"High profile authors and internet are the elders of today. By the way... you claim you are a dedicant, meaning that you are learning directly from God, not from some elders. You shouldn't be preaching something you don't follow yourself."
"Is it that the elders have had enough of explaining the art of the craft to a generation raised on Hollywood expectations?"
"Hollywood expectations? Where do you think THOSE come from? It doesn't matter if you get the expectations on magic from a storyteller by a fire or from the television. Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky weren't seduced by Hollywood. If an elder "have had enough of explaining the art to people", they aren't fit to be elders, don't you think?"
"Is it that there are so many "eBay Pagans" who are caught up in the nifty new chalice, who are buying boxes of stuff covered in pentagrams but who have forgotten that the stuff is all window dressing?"
"Excuse me, but your profile states your occupation is "ritual toolcraft and designer"... these people you despicingly call "eBay Pagans" support you. Stop selling nifty new chalices and boxes of stuff covered in pentagrams if you think people buying them are not "worthy"."
"Are too many people focusing too much on spellbooks and not enough on history and mythology?"
"If you wish people to respect your line of magic, you should be respecting theirs. You work with history and mythology, they with spellbooks. One line isn't better or more valuable than the other. I start to understand why people treat you weirdly... have you ever thought that it might be you and not them? That it might be your prejudices on them being somehow lesser than you, than the other way around?"
"Are people just plain losing the patience for the time it takes to establish that all important connection with the other side?"
"It doesn't take any time at all. It just is so that some people are not mystics. They could be meditating and focusing and praying and what not all they want, and still nothing would happen. It isn't their path. To YOU the "connection with the other side" is "all important", but I ask "what "other side"? There is only one side... God is HERE."
"Those among us who have interacted with the Divine are under an obligation to share what we know with others."
"Not at all. God is actually fully capable of taking care of that Herself. Of course, you MAY share, if you feel like it, but if you don't, don't. There's no obligation."
"Those of us who have been here longer need to reach out and tell others that not only are they not alone, but there is, in fact, so much more to see, so much more to know. That the gods and goddesses are out there and they are waiting for people to recognize them; to know that the old ways can be reborn."
"The old ways never died."
"Let us all speak of the gods and goddesses and their place at our tables. Let us all speak of knowing the touch of the Divine when we are lucky enough to experience it. Let us gather at fires and tell of the great things we have each of us known and done. Let us stand and shout that the gods are not buried in the past. That they walk among us this very day. Let us return to them their stature and let their names once again be spoken loudly. With honor."
"Who is your Divine husband? You never mention his name..."