How can one be a Catholic and a Shaman?

Content Warning:  Suicide, abuse

The purpose of this post is to discuss how a Catholic Christian could be a shaman, or how a shaman could be Catholic Christian.  I discuss a bit of my own personal life and struggles in this post, so please pay attention to the content warning above if you can’t handle certain topics.

First, we need to define what is a shaman.  Archaeologists and cultural anthropologists have done the world a disservice by misusing the term.  Thus, these days people think the word “shaman” is synonymous with “medicine chief” or a tribal spiritual leader.  In that context, one cannot call oneself a shaman, because it’s a title of respect given to someone who is to oversee a whole tribe’s spiritual practice.  However, that’s not the original sense of the word “shaman.” 

Originally, shaman was a descriptive term.  It describes a state of being, not a position of authority.  Being a shaman, in that context, doesn’t mean one oversees the spiritual walk of a tribe.  Instead, it means that one has had a certain kind of awakening which allows one to see the spiritual world in a unique way.  That awakening usually comes through trauma, often in childhood.  It involves losing oneself almost completely, and then finding one’s way back through guidance from the spirit realm. 

For one who is Catholic from childhood, the form that spirit realm would take is angels and probably saints; people and other beings who are in Heaven.  It may be the Archangel Michael, the Mother Mary, or even a family member who has passed on and now dwells in Heaven.  For a protestant, it would probably manifest simply as angels, as most protestants don’t believe people in Heaven provide any help to people on Earth (though there are exceptions, and a few protestant denominations allow for such Heavenly intervention from people who have passed on.)  The spirit world usually interacts with an individual within the context of that individual’s beliefs, but ultimately one’s beliefs will be drastically altered by that interaction.

I knew from childhood that my life was dedicated to God.  My family didn’t go to church, but when I found out my cousin was attending church somewhere, I got excited and begged to be able to go with him.  I probably didn’t need to beg, but the point is that I was allowed to have the church bus pick me up to take me to church.  It was a Southern Baptist church.

I have also always had contact with the spirit world, though I wasn’t born a “shaman” exactly. Having contact with the spirit world doesn’t automatically make one a shaman, rather it’s how one interacts with the spirit world and the world around them. I’ve always known spirits were real, and had contact with my angel guide (spirit guide, guardian angel, whatever term you like) since my earliest memories, which go back to when I was a toddler.

Along with other spirits, I also developed a friendship with the Archangel Michael when I was a child, and with Mother Mary who would appear and comfort me when I was down. My extended family were Catholic, but I otherwise didn’t have any exposure to Catholicism nor was I ever taken to a Catholic church service (other than funerals later on in life) which I can recall.

My father was Ludad, a group of Gypsies from Romania who are related to the Romani people but who don’t speak the Romani language.  We have our own language, of which I know only a few words, and our own culture.  Most of my Ludad relatives lived nearby where I grew up, so I grew up in the Ludad culture.

My father was a violent man, and I was a violent child.  He never hit me, except a spanking when I misbehaved (and even then, he held back greatly.)  However, he did abuse my mother.  I never saw him hit her, they would always go into their bedroom, so I don’t know the extent of the abuse.  I do know that we went through at least a few coffee tables because he would get angry and break them.

My own violence manifested in pre-school, when poor Mrs. Larson (my teacher) told me I could be first to name the colors for her.  She would show us colors on a card and have us name what the color was.  Well, at recess I saw her sitting with another boy who was naming the colors for her.  I took that as her lying to me, and I got angry.  I punched her, kicked her in the shin, and threw my yoyo at her.  I was absolutely out of control.  I was suspended from pre-school for a week because of it.

In second grade, it was discovered that I have a genius level I.Q.  My awesome second grade teacher realized I was far outpacing my classmates in every subject, and that I had a zeal for learning.  So, she had my I.Q. tested, and it was shown that I am a genius. 

The ultimate manifestation of my father’s violence came when I was 9 years old.  On Father’s Day, he shot himself in the head in front of my mother, and he died.  I’ll never forget my grandma running out of the house screaming for someone to call my uncle because my dad had shot himself.  I had been staying with my grandma for that Summer, supposedly as a way for my cousin (who lived with her full time) and I to spend time together; my cousin was my best friend at the time.

The trauma of losing my father caused me to have a nervous breakdown, and I went quite insane for a few years afterwards.  I was good at still pretending that everything was alright, and I acted mostly normal.  I still got good grades in school, and in fact I used school as a hyper-focus to distract myself from the insanity going on in my brain.  

Adding to the trauma, my dad’s family accused my mom of killing my dad, so we were separated from the only extended family I ever knew.  I was no longer allowed to see my best-friend cousin, nor any of my Ludad family at all.  In addition, because my grandmother tried to see us by going to church with us one day, my mom immediately forced us to even change churches.  I’m grateful that she didn’t make us stop going to church altogether, but it was a big forced change for me to suddenly have to go to a different church.

The trauma was heightened after a few years, when the room in which my dad shot and killed himself became my bedroom.  I started to think all kinds of strange things, but I quickly learned not to tell anyone about them because it would always get back to my mother who would then lecture me, or worse.

It was also around this time that my mother began to lose her temper with me over stupid little things and would beat me into a corner.  I would wash the dishes while she was out playing Bingo, and I would get a beating because I didn’t sweep under the table or didn’t do a good enough job sweeping under the table.  I should note that doing the dishes wasn’t even my chore, it was just something I did to be nice.  There were many instances of this abuse, and verbal abuse was even worse and far more frequent.  I won’t go into more details, because that’s not what this post is about.  I do want to say that I have forgiven my mother and my father, and even the step-creature (man who married my mom after my dad’s death.) My mother (may she rest in peace) was otherwise a wonderful woman, and I know that she loved us deeply. 

I was still attending church, and I prayed daily.  I even eventually became an usher for the church.  At one point, I started taking private classes with my pastor because I told him I wanted to be a minister.  Nonetheless, I was still mentally shattered.  I was just really good at hiding it.

When I had a falling out with my church over a major doctrinal issue (that’s for another blog post) it was the final nail in my mental coffin.  I no longer even had church to turn to.  That event happened in my middle teenage years. 

It was around that same time when I decided I also hated school.  Academics had been my other crutch, but I ended up taking that one away from myself.  I got tired of the structure, the rules, and the lack of challenge.  It seemed inane to me, and I started skipping classes and eventually was kicked out of high school.  I did later get a G.E.D. 

So, without church or school, my two main crutches, I was lost.  I started to go deeper into insanity.  It was at the height of this insanity when I was brought back around by the spirit world.

As I mentioned, I had known my spirit friend since I was a small child, often calling him my angel friend, my invisible friend, and later my spirit guide.  I learned not to tell people about him, because they weren’t prepared to believe it was anything more than an imaginary friend.  However, it was this guide, along with two others who appeared later, who helped me to begin to unravel the morass in my mind. 

I was given visions of the whole world at once, and felt more connected to everything than I had ever believed possible prior to that time.  I was taught to connect to spiritual realms in new, indescribable ways, and to be connected with all of Creation.  I stopped being afraid of snakes and spiders, and saw them as family; I had previously been terrified of both. 

One major change for me was that I no longer had any violent tendencies, just a passionate love for all people, plants, and creatures. That part of my awakening actually started a few years earlier, in 9th grade, but it was at this point where all violent tendencies disappeared and were replaced with a heightening of my already loving spirit. I still have a temper which can get out of control, but I have not hit anyone since 7th grade, and have not gotten physically violent at all towards anyone since the 9th grade (which is when I was going to hurt a good friend for making fun of my dad, but didn’t end up actually hurting him because it scared a teacher and her scream snapped me out of it.) In fact, I became so non-violent that I found myself sad if I had to even kill a spider, mosquito, flies, ants, or anything else. I eventually came to terms with the fact that sometimes those things must go, but I will do so in the least harmful way and avoid killing them if at all possible. I still feel bad if I do have to kill some creatures, such as a black widow spider which is an immediate threat to me or my loved ones, but I allow myself to do so. Hurting a human, even emotionally, is something I can’t bring myself to do at all, and I feel bad if I do it even accidentally. I will defend myself and others, but otherwise I do not cause harm intentionally, ever. I even feel bad if I cause any level of physical or emotional harm when defending myself or others, but I accept it as necessary with strict limitations.

I still eat meat, even though I can’t bring myself to harm an animal other than a dangerous insect, and I accept it as being part of the natural cycle of this plane of existence. I pray for the spirits of the animals I eat, just as I pray for roadkill I see when traveling. I don’t like the life/death cycle, even though I understand it and accept its necessity.

It was at this time when I first almost joined the Catholic Church. One of the figures who had appeared to me was Mother Mary, in the form of Our Lady of Lourdes the first time and in the form of the painting “Madonna and Child” the second time. I started catechism classes at the Catholic parish nearest my home, but the nun who taught it scared me and the priest who was pastor of the parish was rude and nasty towards me. So, I decided that wasn’t my path at that time.

Catholicism was really the only form of Christianity which appealed to me at that point, as it’s the only one which made sense with my new spiritual awakening. I’ll get to that more in a moment. The point is, that with Catholicism off the table, I eventually grew away from Christianity.

“Mormonism,” the LDS church, intrigued me because it seemed like it had a certain mysticism, so I tried it for a while. Eventually, I realized I didn’t believe as they do and turned away from it. I became pagan for a few years after that.

It was during this initial stint as a pagan that I attained the title “High Priest,” and learned about shamanism. I learned that shaman was the most appropriate descriptive term for the type of awakening I underwent. I read about many different shaman who described their awakenings almost exactly how I remembered mine being.

After a few years as a pagan, I realized I still love Yeshua, so I wanted to try Christianity again. The Eastern Orthodox Church, very similar to the Roman Catholic Church though following the Patriarch of Constantinople instead of the Pope, suited me for a while after a spiritual experience in a Russian Orthodox Church. Eventually, my ride there moved out of town, and I didn’t drive (still don’t) so I could no longer attend.

I tried a Pentecostal Church for a while, and it seemed mystical enough to suit my new awakening, though eventually I realized it really didn’t suit me at all. So, I tried a couple of other Christian churches, even trying the LDS church again, but ultimately decided that Christianity didn’t have what I needed.

I resumed the pagan path I was on, and accepted once again the title of High Priest. I didn’t embrace “shaman” as a title, because people too often misunderstood what it meant and thought I was essentially calling myself a “Medicine Chief” or something along those lines. So, I would say my path is “shamanistic,” rather than referring to myself as a “shaman.”

After a few years on that path, I also became an interfaith minister and was ordained through one of those online ordination services since no seminary suited my path and my own studies had far exceeded years in a seminary. I studied various religions and cultures from around the world, and adopted practices from some of them along the way.

Along the way, I never lost my love for Yeshua. I reinterpreted my beliefs about him a dozen times or more, mainly because Christian churches had so soured me against their interpretations, but I never lost my love for him and his message. In fact, when I started a video ministry as part of my interfaith/interreligious ministry efforts, my first video was about him and his message of love. (It’s still on YouTube if you can find it. It’s called “Yeshua Love” and is under my spirit name at the time “AncientWolf.”)

In 2013, after decades of shamanic pagan practice, I had an encounter with the Archangel Michael. He interrupted a vision journey I was doing, and stood in my path until I would listen to him. He asked me to attend Advent services at a local Catholic mission parish (a historic California mission.) I agreed, and he left me to finish that journey.

I attended the services as requested, but never thought I’d even be Christian again at all, much less give Catholicism another try. As I said, Christian churches had really soured me on the possibility of ever following any form of it again. Besides, I was a happy pagan with my own ministry, and a Tarot reader and teacher who also used I-Ching for divination. I didn’t want to destroy all that I had built up. Nonetheless, I was drawn to try to take Catechism classes because I wanted to know more about Catholicism; not because I wanted to actually be Catholic. My best friend, who had been attending with me and who was also pagan, talked me out of it.

The one thing which did come from that vision of Saint Michael the Archangel, was my first book, “An Angelic Journey Within.” It was while attending those masses when I received my visions about the book. I started writing it immediately when I got home, using my phone since it was the only working computer I had, and finished and published it in May of 2014. I used the computer at the library to edit it and submit it to a self-publishing site. I immediately started on the sequel, but it wouldn’t be until early 2018 when I would finish it and title it, “Awakening Mama Sarah.”

A year after the first vision, in late 2014, Mother Mary appeared to me in a dream and asked me to again attend Advent services at that same mission parish. So, I did. What followed were a series of dreams she sent me to explain why she needed me in the Catholic Church. I still wasn’t convinced, but I agreed to take the Catechism classes, and that time my best friend (same friend) said he was also interested; for him, Pope Francis had convinced him that exploring Catholicism might be alright.

After a few classes, I realized that Catholicism wasn’t at odds with me being a shaman, and had the mysticism for which I sought. I also learned that the Catholic Church was more true to the teachings of Yeshua than any other Christian church I had attended or studied. I had sorely misjudged the Catholic Church.

In addition, one of my Catechism instructors was a Third Order Secular Franciscan (OFS,) and had invited my friend and I to one of their gatherings. It was through that gathering where my best friend and I both decided at the same time that we needed to join the Catholic Church. It surprised us more than anyone else.

So, in 2015, my best friend and I were confirmed into the Catholic Church. Less than a year later, we were accepted to start studying with the Secular Franciscans. Almost 3 years after that, he and I were professed as Secular Franciscans.

Now to the heart of it; why I believe that Catholicism and shamanism are not opposed.

The main reason is that Catholic mystics, including many saints, describe their experiences in very shamanic terms. The way they received their visions and their awakening, including Saint Francis of Assisi, was very much in line with a description of a shaman.

In addition, the Catholic Church is one of few churches which accepts ongoing visions of Divine beings, and interaction with spirits (saints and angels.) The people who received the Marian apparitions often describe them in terms which would be familiar to a shaman from any one of many different cultures.

So, basically, I am a Catholic and a shaman because “shaman” is something I am, not a pagan title I held. It’s still a descriptive term which applies to me and how I interact with the world. The Franciscans in particular emphasize a connection to nature as part of God’s Creation, and simply phrase it in Catholic/Christian terminology. Because the Catholic Church hasn’t let go of the mysticism which permeated Judaism, it allows another outlet for my shamanic nature. It doesn’t try to cram people into little boxes (no joke intended about confessionals,) rather it lets people be Catholic in their own way; including allowing various cultures to adopt some of their former pagan practices to Christian purposes.

As a Christian shaman, I study Cabbala. I had already studied a bit of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in my study of various religions, cultures, and mystical traditions, but I now study it more with a Christian focus; hence, Cabbala, since that is usually how it is spelled when put into a Christian context. I have found that studying Cabbala and practicing Catholicism has allowed me to remain true to my shamanic nature, even though it has to be done in a new, non-pagan manner.

Yeverechecha Ha’Shem veyishmerecha. Ya’er Ha’Shem panav eleycha viyachunecha. Yissa Ha’Shem panav eleycha viyaseym leycha shalom! May (The Name) bless you and keep you. May (The Name) shine His face upon you and watch over you. May (The Name) shine His face upon you and grant you peace. (Ha’Shem is a Hebrew compound which literally means “The Name” and is used in writing and speaking to refrain from actually writing/speaking the ineffable Name of God itself, which is represented by the tetragrammaton.)

Rebellion in Heaven: Angels behaving badly; the inside story

I have to admit that I’ve been hesitant to write this post.  I do truly feel led by God to actually write it, but doing so means I have to walk a very fine line.  See, I’m only allowed to reveal so much, and even writing this post reveals some things I thought I’d never reveal while on Earth.

Before we begin, you need to understand something about the nature of angels.  Angels have a form of free-will, but it is not really like ours entirely.  They know God in a way we cannot currently know God, the ones closest to Him are least capable of rebellion, because though they have free will, they see God’s Awesomeness and know His Will is ultimate.  Quite plainly, they see how foolish it would be to rebel against God; absolutely no good can come of such an action.  Nonetheless, even one from the highest choir saw reason to rebel, and because his position was so high he fell the hardest.

The purpose of this post is to cover the backstory which you don’t get in any other text on Earth.  Those who know me best will understand from where I get this information, but simply put it comes from an eyewitness who still has God’s favor.  Thus, the purpose of this post is NOT to defame God in any way shape or form.  That said, I have tried to keep it as unbiased as possible without disrespecting the God whom I love so much.

*note: I refer to God as “Him” only so as to not say “it” when referring to God.  God is beyond the concept of gender and is the source of all genders, so neither “Him” or “Her” is correct, and “Their” doesn’t quite seem right either.

Choirs of angels in Heaven

I will not delineate all of the choirs of angels in this section, but you will better understand this post if you know something about the different choirs of angels.

First of all, there are traditionally 9 choirs, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it.  There are 9 primary choirs which deal with Earth and its creation.  In addition to the Sephirot, who are not usually listed as one of those choirs, there are at least dozens of other choirs which are related in various ways.

The second thing to understand is that it’s not entirely hierarchical, but it is organized hierarchically to some extent.  That is, the Archangels, who are closest physically to the Presence of God, do rule over many different choirs of their own, but some choirs are almost autonomous.

The “semi-autonomous” choirs are still 100% under the Dominion of God, and He rules over them; however, they do not have an Archangel specifically over them.  Instead, they have different ways of organizing their ranks.  That said, they do report to an Archangel and are in communion with all of the Archangels.

The biggest differentiation between choirs is physical closeness to God.  All angels are within His Presence to some extent or another, as are human beings right here on Earth.  However, those who are drawn in closer to the Source of His Presence and Power are, as I said earlier, least able to rebel against God and also tend to wield the most power.

One thing traditional (little “t” in “tradition”, meaning it’s not an official teaching of the church) Catholic teaching about angels gets right is that Guardian Angels are of the choir which is farthest from the Source, at least as far as angels any human will likely ever deal with.  Interestingly, despite being farthest from the Source, Guardian Angels are almost incapable of rebellion against God because they are such angels of Love.   Of course, I’m not counting fallen angels, which we’ll cover in later sections.

Another thing to understand about angels before proceeding is that some of them were once incarnated beings.  That is, they were once in a physical or semi-physical form, though they were not created in the Image of God in the way humans were.  Some of them still retain those forms, while others have taken on more ethereal and “spiritual” forms. Humans are not destined to be angels in the same sense as any of the current choirs, because humans are a new kind of creation.  Nonetheless, some angels even today DO have physical form, or at least semi-physical, despite what the Catholic and some other churches teach.

So, now that you understand a little about the nature of angels, you can relate a little more to the rest of this post.

The First Fall: War in Heaven

Not every rebellion of angels ended in all out war in Heaven, but the first one certainly did.  The reason it ended in war, and of course victory for God, is because the angel who rebelled was a general, and the chief of an important choir of angels.  Most of you know a version of this story from the Bible, but it is only vaguely referenced in order to insult a Babylonian minor king.

People often mistake this fallen one for the Tempter of humans, but that’s not entirely accurate.  It would be more accurate to say that the Tempters of humans (more than a thousand) work on that side of the equation in the experiment which is humanity.  I am not allowed to say more about the Tempters, because I do not deal directly with their kind in my work; it’s not part of my assignment here on Earth.

People often teach that Pride was the great sin which caused the fall, and to an extent it is true.  See, this angel, whom I shall not name, was incredibly close to God, and the whole thing started with him thinking he knew better than God.  God wanted to do certain things with creation which this angel thought were cruel, and he began to hate the more physical beings which were being created even before humans were around.  Being so close to God, he knew that he was infinitesimal in power and understanding compared to the Divine, yet he dared to question God’s plan anyway.

The other Archangels tried to explain it to him.  They showed him the math, but he refused to understand or accept it.  They tried explaining how the suffering would lead to growth in new ways, but he wouldn’t accept it.  Bitterness set into his heart, and he started convincing other angels to stand with him to report to God their grievances.

Now, God is absolutely not unreasonable.  He is actually quite patient, and willing to listen to His angels and other creations.  However, one has to approach Him in the right way.  One has to show that one is willing to ultimately go by God’s Will.

This angel did pretty much the opposite.  See, so much bitterness dwelt in his heart over his disagreements, that he had riled up the angels who supported him into an angry mob who wanted to go demand that God do things differently.  They were self-righteous, and thought that they were somehow on the side of good despite opposing the Source of all Good.  They thought that they needed to remind God of who He Is, and that was a major mistake.  God’s nature is absolutely incorruptible.

Even to this day, no angel in Heaven is entirely sure how an Archangel became so corrupted, but they stormed into the Presence and raged against God’s plans.  The angel who fell said that God’s plans were unacceptable, and God said He would not change His plans.

Then the angel brought the backup plan to God’s attention.  See, he and the angels who followed him had met and discussed what they would accept.  If God would not change His plans, they wanted to have their own Universe, or at least their own section of this one.  They agreed that first they’d ask for it and plea, but if God did not acquiesce they would go to war for it.

Of course, God knew their plans, and their arrogance enraged Him.  He denied them their request, so they went to war to try to claim a third of Heaven for themselves.

Angels cannot be killed, so the war was futile from the beginning.  The best they could do is combine their power to try to take over part of Heaven, and part of the physical world.  They could not keep God out of any part of Heaven, and they barely managed to keep other angels out of that section for a while.  The one who led the fall thought he could “reprogram” part of Heaven by changing the equation, but it proved far more sophisticated than even all the angels in Heaven combined could understand if they could make their minds work as one (and they can to some extent.)  He couldn’t even begin to unravel any of it, much less make changes to it.

Of course, most of us know the story about Michael the Archangel, and how he stood up for God and kicked that angel and his ilk out of Heaven.  Michael said, “Who is like unto God!” because no angel should dare to think he can know better than the Will of God.  No angel should dare to say that they can make a better creation than God, and certainly no angel should be foolish enough to rebel.  Thus, Michael used the Power of God which he wielded, the Holy Name itself, and cast that angel from Heaven.

Because of the way they had joined together as one, casting the one angel out from Heaven caused all of those who stood with him to also be cast out.  See, they had tried to mimic the power of Trinity to become a lesser form of god by uniting their powers in a perverse mathematical formula.  Thus, joined by that formula, they were all cast out as one whole.

God was not entirely merciless to them, but they no longer have a place in Heaven.  There are a few angels who believe that at least some of those who fell in this war could be raised back again to Heaven, but most do not think it is at all possible for them to be redeemed because they have been so long outside of the Presence and have hardened their hearts beyond measure.

All of the angels of Heaven weep in great sadness over the memory of these events, because one of the greatest of them fell so hard, and many of their kin along with the fallen one.

The Second Fall: Garden of Eden

This story is, in part, covered in Islamic literature, where it is mistaken as a competing story to the War in Heaven; the first fall.  Below is the background and full story, as much as I am allowed to tell.

When God had created the Heavens and the Earth, the angels heard that He was putting in a creature who would be called Children of God.  Naturally, they thought He intended to grant the Bene Elohim (a choir of angels whose name can be translated as “Children of God”) a physical form in His Image, and uplift them.  They were all congratulating the Bene Elohim.

When the news came down that God would be making an entirely new creation, and that this new creation would be destined to be higher than any of the angels, some of them balked at the idea.  They were sad for the Bene Elohim, and they were not happy about having to bow down to physical beings and serve them as if they’re serving God (though never against the Will of God.)

The Bene Elohim themselves were humble about it.  God granted them a boon, and allowed them to have the ability to take on a physical form for a time whenever they willed it.  He gave them an exalted role serving human beings for the first several thousands of years of human existence.  They would be closest to humans compared to any of the angels.

Some who balked were allowed to repent, and became a lower choir of angels; many of them guardian angels who now love human beings and God.  Others, did not repent, and were cast out of Heaven.  Of those cast out of Heaven, a few did repent before entirely being out of the realm of the Presence of God, and were allowed to take on adversarial roles with the understanding that mankind would one day lovingly rule over all angels.

In this case, they didn’t come to God demanding anything, but it was still Pride which caused them to fall.  Thankfully, it didn’t divide Heaven as much as the first fall did, but it did change the equation of creation slightly.  Of course, God was prepared for it and knew how He intended to adjust the equation when it happened.

The Third Fall: Bene Elohim

This story is covered in part in Genesis chapter 6, and in more detail in the Book of Enoch.  However, the Book of Enoch was written to teach hidden truths, not to tell a literal history of what happened with the Bene Elohim.  In addition, it does not cover their side of the story.  This section will cover their side of the story, as well as clear up some misconceptions about the ultimate fate of the Bene Elohim; things have changed since that book was written thousands of years ago.

You remember from the last section that the Bene Elohim did not fall at the Garden of Eden, and instead remained humble and were allowed to work closest with humanity.  They were even able to take on physical forms, which other angels who work with Earth rarely can do.  Of course, some angels are always physical beings, but the Bene Elohim were granted this ability as a boon for their loyalty.  Unfortunately, it is this close connection to humanity which caused their fall, because they started to question God’s plan and their role in it.

They began by thinking they were helping God, or at least convincing themselves that they were, by teaching humans some of the secrets of Heaven.  They figured that they could advance human civilization at a faster rate, and would be rewarded for their ingenuity and speeding up the plan.  God tolerated it, but wasn’t entirely happy with it.

Then, they got the bright idea that they could speed up human evolution (humans are still evolving) by taking on a physical form with a male gender and mating with human women.  Typically it is the males of a species which passes on most genes for aggression, so they thought they could toy with genetics enough to make a perfect human form.

Unfortunately, the mixing of their skewed genetic with human genes had unforeseen consequences, at least unforeseen to them, and created a race of giants.  You know those giants by the name, “Nephilim,” but there were many names for them throughout the world.

These Nephilim were a ferocious people for the most part.  While some of them became scholars and spiritual leaders, the vast majority of them realized how much greater they were than other humans and began to conquer them, enslave them, or demand worship from them.  Many of them became god-kings, and many others started eating human flesh and demanding human sacrifices.  Human sacrifice didn’t exist in religion until the Nephilim came to be.

Of course, that was the last straw for God.  God set about to wipe out the Nephilim, and the Bene Elohim were punished severely.  Many people believe that God sent the flood to wipe out the Nephilim, but that’s not entirely true.  The flood was a timed event which was set to happen at the end of the last ice age (much earlier than implied in the Bible,) but God did know that the flood would time out with the infestation of the Nephilim.  Nonetheless, not all of them were destroyed in the flood, and a campaign to wipe them out by war and outbreeding (mixing their genes further with humans, which seems counter-intuitive but is actually genius) kept going for centuries.  One of these wars in recounted in the Bible/Torah in the Book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14 (that one didn’t end well for the Israelites because of their disobedience to God.)

The Bene Elohim were cast into a lake of fire, because angels cannot die. There they were intended to dwell forever as fire spirits.  Some became Djinn, while others were humbled and repented.  Those who repented were allowed to incarnate as humans, without any special abilities other than some of their knowledge from Heaven and an innate love for God.  They now serve humans and earn a separate reward, but one which will still put them in a higher place than they were before they rebelled.

Some say the Bene Elohim mated with human women out of pure lust, and that’s the official story given in the Bible and the Book of Enoch.  Perhaps there was a bit of lust there, or at least jealousy that humans would have it better and a desire to become a part of it.  However, the primary motivation wasn’t lust, though it’s understandable that a human retelling of the story would focus on that aspect.  Many humans have forever feared that some “other” wants their women, because it reflect their own lust for the women they fear being taken by an “other.”

Yeverechecha Yahweh panav eleycha viyaseym lecha shalom!  Amen.

May God shine His Face upon you and grant you His Peace!  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omnivore Spirituality; why veganism isn’t right for everyone

Before we really begin to delve into this topic, it’s important that I first clarify a few points: This is not a science paper, it is a spirituality and philosophy discussion.  It is in no way saying that veganism or vegetarianism is absolutely wrong for everyone; rather, I acknowledge that some people’s paths require them to be either vegetarian or vegan for their own reasons.  However, it does address the folly of so many people thinking it’s somehow a higher path, when many times it’s actually just a sign of being stuck and not progressing spiritually.  I should also point out that while the title specifically says “veganism,” it is intended to also include vegetarianism.

Table of Contents

  1. The sticking point
  2. The cruelty of this life
  3. The kindness of the next life
  4. Why Animal Husbandry is less cruel than nature
  5. Connecting with nature through eating meat; the omnivore’s spiritual path

 

The Sticking Point

Compassion.  It is the most beautiful development along the path of spiritual progression.  We must have compassion for one another, for all life, for the Earth itself, and for all the worlds to which we travel in the future.  Human nature contains a lot of greed and desire for conquest, along with a huge helping of “I’ve got mine so who cares about you.”  However, we also have the greatest potential for compassion of any species on the planet, despite what many people will try to tell you.  Compassion is necessary in order to balance our instincts for cruelty, avarice, and domination.  Without compassion, we cannot thrive as a species.

The problem is that compassion can be misapplied.  That is, one can misunderstand what it means to be compassionate, and attempt to remove ourselves from the cycle of life.  It is common that as people seek enlightenment, their compassion may lead them to think that killing animals for food, or even taking their milk and eggs, is the opposite of the compassion they feel growing in their hearts.  However, it’s an idea which misses the overall picture of this life.

The Cruelty of this life

This existence on this planet in these forms is, by very nature, cruel.  Yes, we were given love, rainbows, puppies, sunsets, and all the beauty and joy of life.  At the same time we were given death, illness, disasters, drought, hatred, greed, and other causes of intense suffering.  The one fact we’re all given and assured of the moment we’re born, is that we will die.  The very nature of this world is that everything dies and feeds something else.

People like to offer the misconception that animals are much kinder than we are, but the evidence in nature doesn’t support this belief.  It is true, my cats and dog love me.  They comfort me when I’m ill, and are genuinely excited to see me.  At the same time, when I have watched my cats hunt mice, they had zero compassion.  They had no interest in eating the mice, because they’re well fed cats.  They just wanted to play with the thing.  They don’t moralize about it.  Maybe they don’t realize the mouse is a living thing, or maybe they just don’t care; their instinct is to torture the thing for as long as they can before killing it or letting it go.

Birds and some reptiles also display at least a modicum of emotion and caring, some birds at least as much as mammals.  However, when you get to other creatures, you find it less and less.  Fish rarely have any emotional responses, and most fish eat other fish without even caring beyond, “I’m hungry and that thing is food.”  I watched and listened, in great sadness for the creature, as a horsefly was being wrapped up and eaten alive by a spider.  The spider’s webbing didn’t completely kill it, so it struggled and let out mournful buzzes as it was slowly digested from the inside out.  Creatures like spiders and flies have only the very basic emotions; fear and survival, but the fly’s cries out of even those simple emotions were enough to wring my heart at that moment.  I couldn’t have saved the fly, and it wasn’t my place to cause the suffering of the spider by robbing it of a meal.

The kindness of the next life

I can’t tell you too much about what the next life is like, but I will tell you what I am allowed to tell.  First of all, by the “next life” I’m not necessarily talking about Heaven, depending on how you define Heaven.  I’m talking about the next stage of human evolution, what the Bible calls “The New Heaven and the New Earth.”

What I am allowed to say is that suffering and death will not be the challenges of that existence.  We will eat for energy and sustenance, but we will be able to survive on fruits.  See, when one fully reaches the pinnacle of enlightenment for this current stage of existence, one cannot even stand the thought of harming a plant to eat; fruit eating is beneficial to the plant.

The ideas of vegetarianism and veganism aren’t entirely wrong, they’re just premature.  Wisdom is to live within the world one is in.  That is, because our present world is designed for everything to be eaten, and because we have compassion, we therefore must balance our eating needs with our compassion.

In the next existence, we will not need to suffer by dying, watching others die, or by causing the death of another.  In this existence, part of learning and growing is to have to face that reality as part of our existence.  If you think killing plants and the animals and insects which eat them, so-called “pests,” is somehow less cruel, you misunderstand the nature of life and existence.  Even the gatherer causes harm.  As we’ll discuss in the next section, you’re actually not doing the animals any kind of favor and are not being more compassionate to them.

Animal husbandry is less cruel than nature

There are so many benefits to animal husbandry, that it deserves its own section.  Of course, I’m not talking about farms where animals are abused, kept in small spaces, and fed crap.   Treating animals right is a key part of omnivore spirituality, which we’ll discuss more in detail at the end of this document.  We’re talking about ethical raising of animals for food, whether for slaughter or for eggs or milk.

As we discussed, nature is absolutely cruel.  The animal in nature suffers untreated illness, life changing injuries, starvation, and the threat of death countless times throughout its life.  Nature allows animals to be injured fatally, but to get away from their predator and slowly bleed to death or starve because they’re unable to get food with their injury.  Nature allows animals to be eaten alive, sometimes digested slowly.  Nature has parasites, like the crustacean which eats the tongue of a fish and then replaces its tongue to steal its food.  [source]

The rancher and farmer has an interest in seeing that their animals live well.  The wise farmer/rancher makes sure their animals stay free from disease.  They make sure their animals are well fed.  They protect their animals from predators, except for the ranchers themselves, so that the animal only faces death once.  In spiritually wise animal husbandry practices the animal lives a nearly idyllic life before it dies, and when it dies it does so in a much less cruel manner than it likely would have faced in the wild.  Instead of the teeth of a wildcat or canine tearing into their throat, and ripping out their windpipe, or being slowly suffocated by a large cat, the animal is put down quickly and with minimal pain.   Yes, humans have the greatest capacity for cruelty, but humans also have the capacity to be far kinder than nature ever could or would be.

There’s also the grim fact that what humans don’t find valuable to them, they displace and/or kill.  Without animal husbandry, most of the species we raise would be extinct.  We take up so much room on this planet, that there is only room for the things for which we make room in our lives.

Omnivore spirituality

The omnivore recognizes our role in the cycle of life.  We recognize that we are stuck in this painful system, and our choices of eating do not necessarily reduce suffering in the world; in fact, as mentioned, leaving animals to nature is far more cruel in many ways.  We accept that we cannot avoid causing suffering and harm to others, but we seek to minimize how much suffering we cause by treating animals kindly while they’re alive and by providing them a quick death.

The way we treat the animals we eat or otherwise raise for sustenance is key to omnivore spirituality.  We must not allow animals to be warehoused, or locked in small spaces of any kind.  We must allow them to have fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.  We must provide them with an abundance of the best quality, most delicious feed we can.  We must be diligent about predators and treating disease.  Finally, when it comes time for the animal to die, whether we’re eating it or burying it, we must make its passing as painless and as quick as possible with the least amount of terror possible.

One rule many enlightened omnivores always follow is that animals raised for milk, wool, or eggs are never eaten, except in times of desperation.  Such animals become family, and should be given a proper burial.  Of course, other animals of the same kind which are raised solely for meat are allowed to be eaten, and one is allowed, even encouraged, to take the wool from an animal, such as a sheep, just before killing it for food.   It is also proper to make an offering of some kind, a sweet incense or some tobacco is appropriate, for the soul of all animals killed.  

Of course, the enlightened omnivore also applies strict rules to hunting.  They will make sure the animal is killed quickly, and only kill animals they or someone else will eat for nourishment.  They won’t thin the population of any one animal to the point of extinction or even near extinction.  They will thank the animals spirit, and leave an offering for its soul.

The enlightened omnivore finds a connection to nature through consuming it.  Having seen the nature of life on this planet, the omnivore feels a special connection to nature by consuming both plants and animals.  They connect both with the animal they are consuming, and the animals which would hunt it in the wild.   The omnivore receives all food gratefully, whether they killed and prepared it themselves or not.

One final note is that certain kinds of advanced souls who incarnate on this planet actually require an omnivorous diet, even though it’s hardest for us to be involved in the killing of an animal.  We don’t like death at all, and we wish to be removed from killing, but because of the nature of this plane we must consume some meat, or at least other animal products, in order to keep ourselves in balance here.  If we go against the nature of the system, we weaken our bodies and the connection between soul and body, thus making it difficult or even impossible to do the important work for which we were sent here.  

 

 

 

Reader Questions 4: murder in the name of religion, so many religions which one is right, what is born again?

I love answering questions for my readers.  Not because it makes me feel smart, but because it encourages me to examine these questions for myself, and I always learn or discover something new.  None of us is ever finished learning.

The questions in this post came from the general public via social media, and there were some wonderful questions asked.  All of them took some prayer and meditation to be able to propose some good answers.  I hope you will appreciate the perspectives offered herein.

  1. Murder in the name of religion, why?
  2. So many religions, which one is right?
  3. What did Yeshua mean when he told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again.”

Continue reading “Reader Questions 4: murder in the name of religion, so many religions which one is right, what is born again?”

Angelic Companion

Whether or not you have yet to read my first book, “An Angelic Journey Within,” this guide will serve as a brief discussion of some of the main themes within each chapter.  Of course, you’ll have to read the book to get every mysticism teaching, and to get the whole meaning conveyed within the book.  However, whether to whet your appetite to read the book, or to serve as a companion as you read it, I hope you will learn much from this article.   Of course, there will be a few minimal spoilers, but I will strive to keep them to a minimum and instead focus on the themes.

I encourage those of you who have read the book to add your comments about other themes, along with any questions you have about this book.

The questions for discussion in this document are intended either for group discussion or to answer for yourself.  Feel free to answer them in a comment to this post, as well as on my Facebook author page.  Of course, if you prefer you can just consider them for yourself, but I think you’d benefit even more from discussing it with others who read the book.  I encourage you to ask your friends and family to read the book as well and discuss the questions with you.  Share your copy, put a copy in their Christmas stocking, hand them one at work, or just tell them how much you loved it and think they should download it or purchase the paperback and read it.

Continue reading “Angelic Companion”

Scandal in the Catholic Church

The 2,000 year old Catholic Church, for 1,500 years just called “the Church,” has faced some of the most heinous and twisted scandals, all the way up to shenanigans with the papacy, selling indulgences, and sex crimes of many different kinds.  So, today’s pedophilia scandal, while horrifying, is not so shocking as one might initially think.

The main purpose of this post is to explore the roots of today’s pedophilia scandal, and to put to rest a couple of popular theories among more conservative leaning Catholics; ie, blaming communists and/or homosexuals for infiltrating the church and encouraging these heinous acts, rather than owning up to the fact that the Devil got to the hearts of their priests through their loins.

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The Mystery of Yeshua, the man we call Jesus

The Mystery of Yeshua: The Man we call Jesus Christ

  1. Introduction
  2. Birth and Death solar mysteries
  3. Mysteries of the Magi
  4. Messiah: The Anointed One
  5. Lessons from his life
  6. The Mother of God
  7. Sons of God and the resurrection of the dead

Introduction

The mystery of the Incarnate Son of God is not something which can be fully covered within one blog post; however, as I am about to begin a blog series which explores the mysteries we can find within the Bible, this post will serve as an introduction to the New Testament portion of that study.  In addition, anyone who reads this post alone should still come away with some new insight into the man we call Jesus Christ, Yeshua, and what it means that he is the Messiah.

I encourage you to keep following this blog for more in depth information, and also to study more on your own.  Read some texts on Christian Cabbala and Jewish Kabbalah, and compare them to the Gospels.  Read about Zoroastrianism, Egyptian and Greek mystery traditions, and other religions of the region and time in which Yeshua was born.  Above all, read the Gospels, especially the canonical Gospels, but also the Gospel of Thomas.  Remember to pray before you read and seek God’s wisdom.  In fact, if you haven’t taken a moment to pray before reading this blog post, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to do so right now, and then click “Continue reading” below.

Continue reading “The Mystery of Yeshua, the man we call Jesus”

Reader Questions 3; heaven and hell, why God doesn’t intervene, newer testaments, luck

Reader Questions 3

The last time I asked for questions from my readers, I got enough for at least two posts.  I answered some in Reader Questions 2, and this is the rest.  You can submit your questions to me anytime on my Facebook page, or e-mail 

  1. What is the nature of Heaven?  Why do we have to follow rules to get there if we’re given free will?  Why send anyone to Hell?
  2. Why doesn’t God step up and solve the world’s problems, especially natural disasters?
  3. If the New Testament replaces the Old Testament, can there be newer testaments to replace it? Where have all the prophets gone?
  4. Why are some people seemingly blessed, and others seemingly cursed?

 

Continue reading “Reader Questions 3; heaven and hell, why God doesn’t intervene, newer testaments, luck”

Reader Questions 2: Cain’s wife, other gods, why is the Bible cruel and judgmental

I recently received a lot of really great spiritual questions from my readers.  Remember, you can always send me your questions to author@danielgeorgebooks.com or to my Facebook page  I can’t address them all in one post, but I want to cover several here.

The following questions will be addressed in this post:

    1. In the story of Cain and Abel, who did Cain marry in the Land of Nod?
    2. Can there be other gods on other planets, and does God say there are other gods?
    3. Why is the Bible cruel and judgmental?
    4. Why can’t people see through the limits of religion, and why do so many contradictory answers seem correct?

Continue reading “Reader Questions 2: Cain’s wife, other gods, why is the Bible cruel and judgmental”

Talit, tzitzit, and talit prayer for Christians

Talit, tzitzit, and talit prayer for Christians

Though this is the first post under the new, “Christian Cabbala” category, it is written in a way which can be used by any Christian, including those with zero interest in the Cabbala/Kabbalah.  It is placed in this category primarily because those who study the Cabbala usually follow customs such as praying with the talit, which other Jewish believers do as well; not just kabbalists.

First, since this is the first post in this category, I want to get the issue of spelling out of the way.  There are 3 main accepted spellings for the subject matter; kabbalah, cabbala, and qabbalah.  The first usually refers to Jewish practice of kabbalah.  The second is usually used for Christian Cabbala, and the third is most often used for Golden Dawn and Hermetic studies, which this blog does not cover.  In a sense, except for the Hermeticism, they are all the same thing, just different spellings.  They all use the same core texts (Sepher Yetzirah, Zohar), again with the exception of the Hermetic versions, which have nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity other than a loose resemblance.

If you already know about tzitzit, and just want to read a Christian method for praying with the talit, scroll past the next two sections.

Continue reading “Talit, tzitzit, and talit prayer for Christians”

The Name of God

Baruch HaShem: The Name of God

This post is specifically about replacing the name, “Yahweh,” (baruch HaShem) with “Adonai,” or in English, “Lord.”  I had mentioned in an earlier post, from my previous blog, that the name you use for God is almost unimportant, so long as you seek the Divine.  This fact still remains, but when honoring God in a Hebrew or Christian setting, He has been clear as to the power of that Name.  Replacing it and refusing to use it in sacred settings is to our great detriment. 

I’ll start out by saying that, yes, I know I’m disagreeing with a Pope, and I’m Catholic.  We actually are free to disagree with the Pope and the Magisterium, though we have to follow their edicts.   Specifically, I am disagreeing with Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI who declared that the Holy Name of God was no longer to be spoken or sung in Catholic churches, and it was removed from our hymnals in the songs which included it. 1  All respect to His Holiness, but I strongly disagree with that decision, and I think it reflects a problem which has been present in Judaism and both Protestant and Catholic Christianity.  I am not familiar enough with the practices of Eastern Orthodox Christian churches which aren’t in unity with Rome, so I cannot comment on their practices.

That said, this post is not specifically about the Catholic church, as the problem didn’t begin with Benedict, it began with the translation of the Bible.  The edict by Benedict, which reinforced an earlier edict from a few years before, is just the latest symptom of a greater movement to stop us from using what is perhaps the most powerful name humans are able to utter!

Continue reading “The Name of God”

Angels Are Not Perfect

Angels Are Not Perfect**

There seems to be an incredibly common misconception, even among great religious scholars, that angels are somehow perfect beings.  However, only God is perfect.  Angels may come close, and are perfected in the Presence of God, but are not perfect in and of themselves.

Angelic sins are not entirely like human sins, but there are similarities.  Angels can be wrathful; extremely wrathful.  Generally they won’t act without God’s blessing, and they almost never act against the Will of God (the consequences are dire, and we’ll get to that later.)  Angels can be impatient and unforgiving.(1)  Angels can be lustful. (2)  Angels can be jealous.  The biggest temptation for an angel, however, is ego; just look at the fall of Lucifer.
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Reader Questions 1

Reader Questions 1: Why does God care who we say He is? Why do children die?*

Blessings friends,

In this blog post I will address a couple of questions I received from friends and blog followers.  If you have spiritual questions you would like answered in a blog post, contact me at author@danielgeorgebooks.com  Make the subject line of the e-mail “blog questions,” and let me know if it’s alright to use your first name.  You may also post your questions to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authordangeorge or in comments on these posts.

I’m leaving names out of this first reader questions post, as I did not ask for permission to use names.

Question 1:  Why does God care who we say he is?  Does he need job references or something?

Continue reading “Reader Questions 1”

Ecstatic Prayer; Drawing closer to God through the power of intense prayer

Ecstatic Prayer; Drawing closer to God through the power of intense prayer *

There are all kinds of prayer.  Prayers can be said through music, whether sung or expressed emotionally through an instrumental.  You can pray silently, just a little private conversation with you and God.  Prayer can be shouted out from the mountaintops.  Sometimes, we don’t even have the words and the Holy Spirit prays through us.  There are even times when our prayer is a quick thought directed up to God, a silent plea in a time of impending disaster.  A blog post could be dedicated just to the different ways to pray, and would still not likely cover all of them.

This post focuses on ecstatic prayer, which can take almost any form, including most of those listed above.  Ecstatic prayer is not the only way to pray, but it is something which everyone should seek out.  I don’t want you to think that you have failed in any way if it takes you decades to get it, and you’ll lose it quickly if you become boastful if it hits you hard and fast the first few times you try it.  It will happen when it’s meant to happen for you, when things are right in your life, and when you have the proper outlook, charity, and humility.  That said, it is something which should always be sought.  Continue reading “Ecstatic Prayer; Drawing closer to God through the power of intense prayer”