Monday, February 28, 2005
Dear Lord Starwalker, Dear Amy,
I started the ULC Dr. of Wiccan Studies Program in the beginning of January this year and received the final lesson a few days ago. Despite a little glitch of no consequence in the e-mail system, the course was very well delivered and very enlightening. It is clear that Lord Starwalker is well-learned on the subject of Wicca and Paganism, and he is very good at sharing this information. I appreciated his down-to-earth writing style, which could describe wide range of fairly difficult concepts in a straightforward way. He went directly to the point, making risks and potential pitfalls clear.
I liked the way the course was structured, moving from the history to the philosophy, to the mythology and theology, then to rituals only at lesson 15, and to spells only in the end. I find that a lot of books on Wicca tend to pass very quickly on the more spiritual aspects of the religion and dedicate most of their teaching to rituals. This in my opinion leads people to focus too much on the magic and not enough on spirituality, philosophy and theology. Not so in this course!
I have read quite a number of books on Wicca and Paganism, and this course was at the same time covering a number of topics I had already read on and meditated about, but it also very often put them in a new light. I liked the advices on rituals in lesson 16 and 17. You don’t read very often about them, and they are important things to think about when performing rituals. I also found lesson 21 on ethics very important.
The lesson on herbalism and herbology were interesting, but I think that I would need much more reading before I delve into more than only the most risk-free basics. Lord Starwalker did well to include a warning at the beginning of the lesson. The lessons on the holidays and the sabbats and esbats were very good. They put them into perspective from a historical and practical point of view, and I learned quite a lot there. It is true that the content of the Wiccan holidays can and does change from tradition to tradition and that their description is often different, but I think it is important to know the origins and reasons of celebration to be able to really know what we are doing at that time.
I have not been able to practice the lessons as much as I would have liked, but I have filed them all for further reference and I am sure I will go back to them regularly. I thank you very much for your time and efforts. Again, this was a great experience.
May the Goddess bless you and everyone at ULC.
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Sunday, February 27, 2005
By John Peterson
First, let me mention, I have been enlightened by this course. The topics are genuine and always cause me to ponder, wonder and apply to this lifetime. Essay – Changes in my Life.I have been though many changes over the last several years, study of theology, alternative medicine practices and self-awareness. All of which have formed a new perspective of looking at issues that I have, that others have. Looking out from this body from the Spirit and Soul, I see the need in others, to have a Path to follow.
To understand that there is a choice they can make to heal themselves, to manifest the need that this life requires. Through this course, I have identified myself, my Spirit. I once had a huge void inside, in my heart. I did not understand the void, only to know that I felt I was missing something in my life. Purpose? Why am I (we) here? What was causing the weight in my heart?Coincidence? Things happen for a reason. My hip required an adjustment. I asked around, who had a great chiropractor. I was lead to an office that was on my drive home. Upon arriving, the new patient paperwork, I was sent to a room to wait.
When the door opened and the Doctor came in, all she could say was, “Wow, you’ve got a huge Aura!" I quickly responded by, “My name is John, my color is blue!” “I’m Dr. Lisa, and my color is Green. I’m a healer” she piped back. “You can do anything you need to for my health”, I offered. From then on, Dr. Lisa introduced me to energy working people, self-healing classes, meditation, crystal energy and more. I have pursued energy work very passionately. I am a study of Reiki, and the Chakras and other modalities. During a self-healing exercise years ago, Soul Fragmentation Retrieval, I became incredibly aware. I have become very empathic, Clairsentient and have become a Medical Intuitive. I provide Spiritual Healing services and body scans. I see Auras around people and have regarded this as a measure of one’s Spirituality, and is very accurate. I have no fear when it comes to the Spirit.
When I see an Aura, I immediately comment to that person how gorgeous it is, then go into the meaning their Aura. Often, I sense the level of energy their chakras carry, connect to their Spirit and scan their physical body to identify problems they carry by the imbalance in the Aura field. People need to be aware of the great experiences that can be available to them, just by asking.I continue to have great experiences.
My Soul is at peace with my Path. I am continually amazed at the information provided to us and am recognizing more ways the messages come to us. We all need to listen with our Heart. This is where I carry my Spirit. Filling the void I once had. Lighting my Path.When you look at issues from the Soul’s perspective, the real ‘Why’ comes out. Only Truth. Letting go of the Ego is the healing we all need. My roses are in bloom!If only all could see their Spirit.
Thank you Spirit Quest. For opening up new possibilities.
John E. Peterson
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The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
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Essay for Spirit Quest,
By Stuart J, Malkin, D.D., Ph.D.
Spirit Quest is an excellent distance learning course, rooted in the fundamentals of Right Action. Here are my thoughts on the subject, as seen in the light of Spiritual Alchemy.
The Alchemists of old worked over many years ... centuries ... in their quest to turn base metals into gold. At least that is the popular notion. In fact, alchemy is a blend of science and philosophy. It has been so since before the Common Era, when the ancient chemists did attempt to turn inexpensive metals into expensive ones ... but always with the underlying thoughts that their work was also symbolically related to the perfection of life.
Alchemy started in China and India, then the Egyptians developed it to a high state. They postulated that earth, air, fire and water could be combined into anything ... anything at all! That concept is translated into the notion of Spiritual Alchemy, which is that we can transform any part of our negative thinking or our unworthy deeds into something more valuable. It is a way of looking at Good, Right Action and Positive Thinking.
So, each day, each moment, reflect on how you can change the world by changing your reaction to the everyday things that confront you. Use Spiritual Alchemy! Turn any little unhappiness into happiness ... by seeing the good in everything that you possibly can!Turn greed into charity ... instead of viewing the benefit of something to you, consider the benefit to others.
Want for others ... especially those in greater need ... rather than wanting for yourself. Turn ego into admiration for others, rather than for yourself. Turn anger into contentment, by realizing that the poison of the mean spirit will do more harm than good, and that by recognizing the good in another, you are making the world a better place.
Chaos can become order, through alchemy. Using organization and doing what is right can bring sense and dignity to almost anything! It is easy to write these words but not so easy to accomplish. But, if you have the desire to bring order and beauty into your life, it can be done. And even if you do not succeed at first, you will have enriched your self-esteem and, even in some small way, energized the condition in a positive way.
Turn brutality into kindness. There is no small deed and no kindness that is insignificant. A kind word, holding the door open for someone, complementing another, thanking another or easing the pain or the effort of one who may be infirm ... all of these, no matter how small or no matter how little effort is used, are a gift to the Spirit and all make for a little more peace on the planet.
Through the power of the Spirit and Positive Thinking, do your best to disallow depression ... turn, instead, to happy thoughts. Look for the Light, the Ògood sideÓ of an issue. Visualize a happy and positive outcome of whatever it is that is causing you some mental grief. I promise you that if you think positive thoughts, they will manifest into the reality, in ways that will surprise you.Be considerate of others rather than inconsiderate. ÒRoad rageÓ is a product of our fast paced existence and it is a dangerous phenomenon. Be considerate of other drivers ... give in to the impulse for aggression ... relax and let the other car go first, even if that driver is in the wrong!
In our lives we see many opportunities to curb aggression, to be gentle and caring. Many times we see someone 'crashing' a line of people waiting for one thing or another. They do not wait their turn because they are rude, inconsiderate, self-serving ... in other words, of mean spirit. Don't be one of them! You be the one to stand aside and let them push and shove ... you be the one of good Spirit who is turning lead into gold.Jealousy can become admiration. Admire the accomplishments of others ... learn from them.
Don't envy them, emulate them. Be happy for the achievements of others. Be happy that those you know are contributing to the good of the planet. Love the idea that others are successful.The ÒSeven Deadly Sins,Ó anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and sloth can all be turned in a good thing, as we have discussed above for some of them. But whatever the negative or mean-spirited event is that you might encounter in daily life, work the wonder of Spiritual Alchemy and bathe in the positivity that you will produce!Everyone wants to do the right thing ... it is born in us.
It is a basic element of the human condition. It is only through the learned dogmas and extremist distortions of 'what is right' that we have come to this dangerous world of ours. Even the Islam murderers believe that they are doing the right thing! The problem is that the right thing is not always defined as it should be. LetÕs explore that.The early Avitars had it right. If you compare the Ten Commandments with the Eightfold Path of Buddha, for instance, you will see the amazing similarities. And so it is with most of the early religious and mystical thinking. Actually, the precepts of Right Action are contained in all of the early religious and mystical writings. There are many more similarities than there are differences.Even the Koran speaks to the similarities. Again, it is the contemporary disciples and the learned hatreds that create the dissension and violence.
If Mohammed were alive, he would rebel against the extremists who rape and murder under his flag. And so would Jesus.So, if we understand what is really right ... and if we breathe it and live it and teach it to our children, then we have a real chance to change things. And what is really right is actually easy to understand:' Do nothing that will harm another.' Try to be as helpful as you can to others. (This makes you a 'nice guy'... or girl ... and it is one of the best contributions towards making this a better world!)Å Work well at what you do ... be the best you can be.Å See only good in all things and all people. (Some days that can be a contest! But do your best to try to see only good. In trying, you will be a better person.)
You may recognize that these ideas are similar to parts of the Ten Commandments. Don't be surprised. All of the early Avatars had good things to say!It does not take a genius to see that what is really right is easy to define. And it is easy to see that what the extremists today are doing in the name of their God is not right. Right is right; it is not subject to interpretation.The modern alchemist needs to transform behavior that is not right into behavior that is right. A daunting task for today's world, I admit. And a Utopia worth pursuing.
I'm Amy with the Universal Life Church and it's Seminary. I've been a member of ULC for many years and my site has created a terrific ULC Forum. We also have the most extensive catalog of Universal Life Church materials.
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