Two Pagans, an ex-Druid, and a Pastor Walk Into a Bar

I wrote a post on Storify, a website which helps its users tell stories by curating social media. Not only can you read and embed (usually) Storify posts, but you can Like, Comment, or Share any of the individual messages inside a Storify post.

High-tech, no? It takes dialogue to a micro-level.

Give the post a read, engage in some dialogue, both inside the post and in the traditional comments, and then pay a visit to my Indiegogo Campaign, Sacred Electric Grove.


14 responses to “Two Pagans, an ex-Druid, and a Pastor Walk Into a Bar”

  1. Bob Patrick Avatar
    Bob Patrick

    I do consider myself a mystic–maybe always have.  You’ve raised a number of good questions in this post.  I would offer that seminary does not have to be opposed to mystical/path work any more than studying biology in high school has to be opposed to  hiking in the woods.  They simply are two different human experiences both of which can be valuable to the human being.  My own seminary was exactly as described in your article:  traditional, mainline,  liberal, critical thinking oriented graduate work.  I wouldn’t give anything for it.  I have been using what I learned there ever since (30 years), but it was not the end of my personal journey.  It was very much a part of the beginning.  I am more involved in my own soul work than ever.  

  2. Dylan Morrison Author Avatar
    Dylan Morrison Author

    Mystics are those who’ve given up on the promises of ego, usually unwillingly, to fall into the great Void where the Divine Arms catch them at rock bottom.

    The mystic can never be the same again. 

    1. Lynch, Gerard Avatar
      Lynch, Gerard

      Very nicely put, Dylan. And an interesting piece that seeming unwillingness. I found that “bottom” you spoke of: a gift of desperation, an “awful mercy” of God.

  3. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus Avatar
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    It’s an interesting set of questions…

    In my own experience, one person’s mystagogic experience is another’s rote and boring ritual; one person’s mystagogic text is another’s boring theological treatise or epic poem or what-have-you.  One never knows how one’s own perceptions of mysticism will “land” with another person, no matter how much one likes the other person, or agrees with them, or gets along with them.

    I wonder if a pedagogy of the soul would include trying to understand how some souls just don’t resonate with certain types of mysticism, while others do.  (And, interestingly enough, one of the only systems I’ve yet encountered that does that to any degree is the Enneagram…)

    As for myself, I don’t actively identify as a mystic, because I think it’s very pretentious to do so.  My own arrogance and false humility on this may be a hurdle and a problem, but I find that an awful lot of public identification (including in contexts like this) takes place in order to avoid having to do the necessary work to demonstrate that one really is a doer of the agency noun with which one identifies.  (“Reconstructionists” are another frequent example of this–those who crow the loudest about being one are the people who are often the least likely to be doing the reconstructionist methodology on a regular basis.)

    So, if my work looks or is based in mystical practice, or in recon practice (or anything else), then I think it is, and therefore I am…when I’m doing that kind of work.  The rest of the time, I have my hands full with being whatever definition of “human” might be best in the given moment or context.

  4. Kilmrnock Avatar

    And for me at least i do like some ritual structure . Having that structure in place allows for mystical and deeply spiritual things to happen in a safe place . I use a ADF style ritual structure …….within that structure i can feel safe being mystical .     Kilm

    1. Kilmrnock Avatar

      But like Lupus , i donot consider myself a mystic , Just someone who has had a few mystical, magical experiences . Kilm

  5. Lynch, Gerard Avatar
    Lynch, Gerard

    I think I am suffering from ambigogy.

  6. Kilmrnock Avatar

    As a CR and ADF Celtic Druid , my faith has a bit of both . On the CR , Sinnsreachd, side more than a fair bit of Schorly work is done . So we can know and understand our gods And our ethnicly based ways . Once we have a fair basis and understanding of our gods , then mystism can happen . I personaly have had several what could be called mystic experiences w/ my gods and ancestors . Some coming as well remembered dream visions , others as help in time of major crisis. I have had more than a few deep soul touching questions/issues answered in dream visions. I normaly donot remember my dreams with any clarity , this is why i call them dream visions . But in many ways my mind is pragmatic , the way i deal with things . But as i’ve aged i have learned to listen to my heart as much or more than my head so a mix is how my faith works these days  .I am Sinnsreachd / Celtic druid because that is where my heart lead me to , where i belong , where my heart and soul belong . I personaly don’t believe such things are left to chance for one that seeks out where they belong  and  who they realy are.  kilm 

  7. Henry Avatar

    “How do we teach about mysticism, about contemplation, and about the ecstatic experiences of the Divine in the world? Is the experience of the mystic ineffable?”
    Basicly one can only teach the methods or practices which lead to a mystical or ecstatic experience. It’s those experiences which really ‘teach’.
    As to a pedagogy of the soul, or the study of teaching about the soul and its nature, there’s plenty of resources for that. It has been after all, a preoccupation by many for countless numbers of years. 
    Is the experience eneffable?  I’d say  that really any experience is to a degree ‘eneffable’. We can for the most part describe them in terms of metaphors based on perceived common experiences.
    On the quote from ‘Mystic Way’- that’s the same direction Modern Paganism is going, “overwhelmingly concerned with critical scholarship.”
    Am I a mystic? well sure, tending towards a fundamental animistic view, that everything is alive and has some degree of intelligence and consciousness, I’d pretty much have to be, by standard definitions. I am also a pan-panen-poly-mono-theist , at different levels as well.
    Or in it’s basic sense I am a pantheologist, one who ‘studies’ ALL forms of “theos”.

  8. Suzy Jacobson Avatar

    Also – for some reason, if  you click on the name by my picture, you come to some other Suzanne Jacobson.  I will try to fix that.  However, if the name on the Facebook page does not say “Suzanne Jacobson Cherry,” then you don’t have me.  Weird.

    1. Suzanne Jacobson Cherry Avatar

      Ok, now we can forget that.  It’s going to one of my blog sites now.  *whew*  I have no idea who that other person was!

    1. Ian Phanes Avatar

       Would you mind sharing what seminary and denomination?

      1. Suzanne Jacobson Cherry Avatar

        No problem.  Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA.  I am working within the United Methodist tradition.  Claremont kicked off its new program, Claremont Lincoln University year. It was funded by a United Methodist couple from here in Arizona.  I think that’s why I feel some hope for the UMC.

        Something I didn’t share in explaining my spiritual history is that though I was raised a sometime Methodist, I spent over 30 years within the Wiccan/Pagan “community.”  I only returned to the church just over 8 years ago when I got my current job.  I did my undergraduate work in Religious Studies writing most of my papers from the Wiccan/Pagan perspective, graduated in my early 40’s, and then got this job doing what I did before I went back to school, making less money than I did before.

        Anyway, that was more than you asked for.