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Through The Archonic Looking Glass

GODS & RADICALS

William Blake's America. A Prophecy, (Frontpiece) (1793) William Blake’s America. A Prophecy, (Frontpiece) (1793)

By Michael Strojan

Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

– Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later

THEN

In 1945, three months after the end of the Second World War, twelve leather-bound papyrus codices where found by a local farmer in the upper Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi. What…

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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Blessed Ash Wednesday everyone! Having spent the last three weeks focusing on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our commemorations, today marks the beginning of a Lent. For Gnostics this marks a period of purification, introspection, and self-examination. Beginning 40 days before Easter Sunday, we spend the days of this season examining ourselves and our lives, burning off the dross matter, and preparing for the resurrection of the Divine Light at Easter. Forty days, of course, has significance in the mythic story of Jesus Christ, who spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness before commencing His public ministry, and spent 40 hours in the tomb before His glorious resurrection.

Traditionally, this is one of the penitential seasons (the other being Advent), and has been associated with fasting, abstinence, prayer, penance, and “giving up” something for Lent. These practices, though often not very appealing to Gnostics, can be beneficial. In choosing to limit ourselves, exercising the will over the body, we can begin to remember that this physical body is only temporary and focus on our true spiritual nature. As we are reminded when we receive the blessed ashes on our foreheads: “Remember, O soul, that thy body is dust; and unto dust it shall return.”

If we should choose to give up something for Lent, it’s wise to begin by examining things in our lives that draw our attention away from our true nature as sons and daughters of God, and that spark of Divine Light we all possess: the indwelling Christ. Many people give up sweets or caffeine, and if these things are actually drawing you away from God, then go for it! But if we dig deeper, we may find that the true cause of our separation are things like anger, desire, laziness. When we’ve figured out the cause, we can then figure out what to do about it — it may not involve giving something up at all, but rather taking on a practice. We may choose to add to our regular devotional practices, or even begin a new one if we’ve found ourselves making excuses for finding time for prayer. Whatever we choose to give up or take on during Lent should be based on careful self-examination, so that when the 40 days are over, we find ourselves in a better position than we were before: closer to God, and closer to our neighbors and loved ones.

It’s my prayer that this Lenten season will be a time of powerful transformation for you all, as I hope it will be for myself. Pax vobiscum!

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Just for fun!

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Requiem Æternam

Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto her, O Lord; and let the light above the Æons shine upon her. Amen.

Repose in the eternal Fullness grant unto her, O Lord; and let the light above the Æons shine upon her. Amen.

Many of you have probably already heard the tragic story of transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn, who recently committed suicide after facing no acceptance from her parents. She was forced to see “Christian” counselors, who tried to “cure” her of her gender identity and told her she was selfish for being who she was. As this blog is especially dedicated to LGBT youth who have lost their lives — either at the hand of someone else, or by their own hand due to persecution — I’ve added her name to the In Memoriam section of the sidebar. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Leelah Alcorn, may she find that peace which the world could not give. I will be praying the Office of the Dead for her myself.

http://heavy.com/news/2014/12/leelah-alcorn-joshua-alcorn-dead-suicide-rip-ohio-tumblr-suicide-note/

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Elevation of the Deceased

An excellent rite for the Elevation of the Deceased, by my good friend and colleague the Rev. Dn. Michael Strojan

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Christos Anesti!

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A blessed Easter to you all, on this great Festival of the Risen Light!  The story of Christ’s incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection is also the story of our own soul’s descent into the limitations and darkness of the physical world, and the hope of our eventual return to the Fullness of God. Most of us who come from liturgical traditions are familiar with the Paschal candle, which is lit by the deacon on Holy Saturday, and remains lit throughout Eastertide to remind us of the Divine Light of Christ, and our own indwelling spark of that same light. In the great mystery drama of Holy Week, we recall the obscuration of the Divine Light in its descent into matter, and on Easter, we celebrate its Resurrection and triumphant return. Just as we keep a Paschal candle lit at church, it is also an old custom to keep a Paschal candle at home, which we can light on each of the 40 days of Easter, beginning today. To do this, we take a large candle, surrounded by flowers, and carve into it a cross similar to the design we see at church, along with Alpha and Omega, and the current year. You may also insert grains of incense at the five points of the Cross.

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The following prayers are recited at each carving:

While cutting the vertical line of the cross, say: Christ yesterday and today.

While cutting the horizontal line, say: the Beginning and the End,

While carving the Greek letters, say: Alpha and Omega

While carving the millennial figure in the upper left quadrant of the cross: His are the times

While carving the second figure in the upper right quadrant: and aeons.

While carving the decade figure (1) in the lower left quadrant: To Him be glory and dominion

While carving the last figure of the year (4) in the lower right quadrant: unto the aeons of aeons. Amen.

While inserting a grain of incense at the top point of the cross: By His holy

While inserting a grain of incense at the center of the cross: and glorious sacrifice

While inserting a grain of incense at the bottom point of the cross: may He guard

While inserting a grain of incense at the left point of the cross: and preserve us,

While inserting a grain of incense at the right point of the cross: Christus Dóminus. Amen.

As you light the candle, whether it be before a meal, or during your devotions, say: May the light of Christ in glory rising again dispel the darkness of heart and mind.

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