Spiritual Evolution - Science, Religion and Magic



This morning I felt the urge to talk about the evolution of spirituality. As many of you know my path has evolved from its inception. As a child (roughly age 8) I was raised Southern Baptist.  I was taught that if I donated money to the church, I would be blessed. If I were blessed, my step father would stop molesting me.  My mother would stop living in soaps and we would have more food on the table.

My path as an adult has moved from a general interest in Wicca, to a Devotee to the Covenant of Hekate, to a Torchbearer and today, it still progresses.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Over my stay with the Covenant of Hekate I was encouraged to explore my path. Read more books and learn more about the path I was traveling. As we look at our past, we can see that as we learned more about the world around us, we began to understand that some things we attributed to a deity was actually science, magic or insanity.


Let's start with Abraham. (Link) -  In the Hebrew Bible, a very dedicated servant of God is told by his God that he must kill his son in order to prove his loyalty. Abraham puts his son on an altar and pulls out a knife to sacrifice him to his God.  The story continues that an angel stops Abraham from killing his son.

By Caravaggio - scan, Public Domain, Link
Here we have a man killing his child because a voice told him to.  Today, if this happened, we would tell the person they were insane and lock them up for attempted murder.  We frown on parents who use religious objections to not seek medical care for their children. In fact the American Academy of Pediatrics is against these types of medical objections.  (link)

Remember, there's a huge margin here as it relates to insanity vs. hearing voice or reading images. I certainly don't believe or mean to imply that everyone who has "heard" the voice of their deity is insane. We have to look at literal vs. figurative.

Then we have this, in the United States the government has passed a religious freedom bill that allows medical professionals to decline treatment those those people or for those procedures that are against their religious beliefs.  Which basically means, LGBTQI people get kicked to the curb, OH and if you want an abortion or birth control, guess what??  You don't get that either. (link)

(I follow my book, but only when I want to)

Today many out there like to use words like "I'm not that kind of Christian"  or "That's not what Christianity is about today".  They see their religious frame work as being some thing that has evolved to include LGBTQI - People of Color (because yes, in the not so distant past, these same folks used the Bible to defend slavery)

One of the things that I watched along my journey was Caesar's Messiah. I'll link the trailer below. I highly recommend taking a look at this.

**Just for the fun of it, here's another website that lists all the times "murder" is called for in the bible.



Just to reiterate, I do not believe that those who "hear" their deity are insane.  I believe that there are some that are, but there are also some who are indeed hearing their message.



Now let's talk about Pyhthia - Oracle of Delphi


"Priestess of Delphi" by John Collier, 1891. 
                                       

In this example oracle goes into the Temple of Apollo where there are assorted fumes and then the oracle gives a reading and provides and answer to the questioning from the Gods.





Today we see groups that still engage in the use of drugs to contact a deity. Peyote for example is in the same class of drugs as Heroin.




A quick look at the ingredients of "Flying Ointment" will quickly reveal, if we weren't flying, we certainly thought we were. (lol)

Source - Wikipedia















Still anyone using drugs today and telling us they speak for a God/Deity is generally met with a huge amount of skepticism.  Today we look to make sure that those who claim to have contact with a deity are not in a place where they can hurt themselves or others.  This is another form of religious evolution. We move from blanket belief to a healthy does of critical thinking to ensure the safety of our people.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


In our final example, I want to have a look at Hecate Devotees.

Followers of the Goddess Hecate have certainly changed from what we see in the assorted historic texts related to her. We know, for example that many of her followers were/are vegetarian or vegan. (Hekate: Liminal Rites (Avalonia Press, 2009).  You can find more on vegetarianism and Hecate here.
Now does that mean everyone who follows Hecate should be/is  vegan or vegetarian?  Of course not. Each person follows their own dietary practices. Science tells us that some people cannot eat only a vegan diet.  My DNA tests revealed that when I eat animal products, I tend to put on more weight and have more adverse side effects.  So I choose to eat vegan. Not for the goddess but for my own health and well being.

Hecate has a thirst for the blood of black dogs and puppies? Or so I've read. There are several references to black dogs in various documents that equate them to being evil or the devil. Dogs which are said to be sacred to her were sacrificed as well.  Today very few cults still use animal sacrifice as part of their ritual practice. For me, as an animal lover, I completed my dedication to Hecate by helping homeless animals.  This allowed me to embrace the part of the Goddess that was said to love dogs and then to weed out or EVOLVE my practice away from something distasteful into something useful.

To round out this discussion on Hecate, you cannot complete her story with out reference to the Eunuchs who were said to follow her in Lagina.  This discovery has led to many discussions and all out fights online as to if men were even allowed to be Devotees of Hecate. Because of her further association with childbirth as well as being seen has as a virgin/maiden Goddess, it could be said that she was, indeed a Goddess for women. The following link has a great deal of information on Hecate and women, however the association of Hecate with the Crone aspect of the MMC construct is not something I subscribe to.  That being said, I do like to supply all views so here is the link.


Video from the Temple of Lagina.




Today we do not expect ritual castration, sacrificing puppies (your kids) or even inhaling noxious fumes to follow your path.  Today, our thoughts have evolved to allow for others to follow their own path. If that path contains a deity or if that path is absent of one, it is still one's own path and should only be judged by themselves.  It is not our place to say one way is right or wrong but more of which way grants peace to all those involved.

Our science has shown us where an eclipse comes from.  Where earth quakes and hurricanes originate. We know that we have the ability to think freely for ourselves and not rely on some antiquated text (don't even get me started on that) or messages from a doped up oracle for our direction in this world.  We have evolved to understand that our magic, our religion can usually be explained by science. And where it cannot, my hope is that one day we will be able to tap into those areas and explore them fully.  Because we know that space is there.  We can all feel the magic when we are in our ritual, in our meditation or even just walking into our sacred space to commune with what we may call our deity or our reality.

I'm a reader.  I read photos and people to learn about them.  I can see extramarital affairs. I can see illness and sadness. I can spot resentment and evil. I do not attribute this to any deity. I have had it my entire life. From Baptist to Atheist, my skill at reading has improved with age and my disconnection with negativity. I know that it is real and cannot be explained currently by science. But we'll get there.

We have to remember that each person, even those ancients that some embrace as being the only way, were merely interpreting what they see/heard/felt.  It was the UPG of its time.

So until you're walking around tossing black puppies in wells and hacking off your testicles I really don't need to hear about how your way is the only way to follow Hecate. Each person makes their own way. They have to walk that path, not you.

There's always room to evolve. No matter where you are in science, religion or magic.



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Additional Reading:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/am-i-right/201512/violence-in-the-name-god
https://www.ancient.eu/delphi/
https://foodanddining.omeka.net/exhibits/show/vegetarianism-in-antiquity/ethical-social/on-the-impropriety
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Porphyry_(philosopher)
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285775950_Dog_sacrifice_in_the_ancient_world_A_ritual_passage
https://archetypicalwitchcraft.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/understanding-hekate-part-4-offerings-and-sacrifices/
http://zer0dmx.tripod.com/gods/hekate.html
https://people.well.com/user/aquarius/nock.htm
https://www.ancient.eu/Hecate/
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