Henge Happenings #78 - Beltaine 2008
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Henge Happenings
Issue #79
Lughnasadh 2008

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Finding My Theology

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Finding My Theology

I am a Druid. I belong to a path that does not preach that it has all the answers. In fact it teaches that the important thing is for each person to find his/her own answers to the universal questions that plague all of humanity. At the same time I am pursuing a Master of Divinity degree that will allow me to become “professional clergy” and work in an institutional setting like a hospital or nursing home. Part of this degree is to help me define my theology. So I asked myself what is my theology?

A part of theology is defining Divinity and how this relates to how we live our lives. To some people Divinity is about moral codes. To others, moral codes come from the individual and are not dictated by a Divine Being. This creates a new way of relating to Divinity and a new role/s for Divinity. Suddenly we are not left obeying rules but free toengage in a mutual relationship. When we focus on just obeying rules it sets us up to have a one way line to the Divine. If we behave, they will notice and bestow good things on us. If we don’t behave, they will notice and punish us; much like a parent/child relationship.

When we relate at a level where we see the mutuality that is possible the relationship becomes more fluid and less defined. Now we offer the Divine praise, gratitude, an offering or whatever else feels right and with good intentions hope that they will want to engage in a relationship with us. This relationship may or may not work out. We may just learn a great deal about ourselves and learn that maybe we sought it for the wrong intentions. We may learn that our personalities conflict. All the same reasons relationships with other humans do or do not work out. Most of the time we can keep trying new things and new ways of relating to evolve the relationship to new levels that work best for both.

Another aspect of theology is the definition of moral behavior. A Keltrian belief is that “We believe that morality is a matter of personal conviction based upon self respect and respect for others.” This fits more in the category of morality coming from the individual and not the Divine dictates. It also suggests a very fluid method of determining morality. We do not have to make the same choice each time we are confronted with a situation. It does not, however, give us reason to mistreat anyone or anything. Rather it calls us to the “higher road” when making a choice. Generally we recognize that there are not just two choices – right and wrong. Believing in triads, we will have at least three choices before us. Instead of confusing the issue and calling them right, wrong and indifferent we need new labels for them or maybe better yet no labels at all.

A system of three works in a different way than a system of two. Binary logic teaches that something is 1 or 0, on or off. There can be no other way. Adding a third dimension means the world suddenly looks very different. We are not right or wrong. We are able to decide more along the lines of is this right for me, right for the other parties involved and right for the world? Should I pick option one which is the easiest choice, option two which seems slightly out of reach or option three which seems crazy but has its own appeal? Suddenly all three choices are on equal playing ground. Yet if we sit still and consider one will eventually arise above the others. If the choice doesn’t give us what we wanted we are now free to believe that it was the best choice for the time. Not a right choice or a wrong choice.

Worship is another aspect of theology. How do we honor the Divine? For some people the Divine should be honored with precise rituals set in place in antiquity and handed down from generation to generation. Few of these exist in our modern day. A big factor in this is that everything changes. This is a natural law. If we again approach this from a triad viewpoint we can see that we are not given right or wrong. We are given options that are equally valid. As in any relationship we can decide which option fits the situation. Perhaps a Beltaine rite written with particular attention to historical traditions is suitable. Perhaps a quiet meditation in the woods is in order. Perhaps a supper with elements of a seasonal celebration is the most fitting.

Photo of Earth from SpaceIt is a difficult task as a Druid to convey to someone else what should work for them. We are an order of priests and priestesses. We don’t believe you have to complete years of Seminary to lead a ritual. We do believe you have to take it seriously, study and practice, though. A theology that centers on constant work in constant motion is the theology I subscribe to. It changes with time and the seasons just as the Earth does. Change is a good thing, but a scary thing. I, for one, am thankful that my Gods and Goddesses are not a vengeful kind. They are the ones who sometimes stumble in the myths but come around and learn, change and grow in new ways from the adventure ahead of them. I strive to follow this example.

I may not have a perfectly canned and simple answer for my Seminary papers. I do keep searching for the answers. Keeping the questions open and alive is what allows me to grow, change and continue to search for a morality based on respect. It allows lets me search, define and redefine a spiritual path that grows, changes and evolves as time goes on.


From the Internet

For Winter Solstice at Stonehente Aotearoa See Tony's Druid Blog

Stonehenge Decoded See Tony's Druid Blog

 

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