Sunday, April 30, 2006

THE LORE: To Jew or not to Jew? That is the question.

If you have not yet read the previous post, please take a moment to pull it from the archives. It is THE PREAMBLE:
Without the preamble you will be a little lost where we begin in this post.

Here is the Oral Lore of Druid/Celtic history as I know it.
It is Oral, so I am sure it is embellished. So I will call it myth.

At the time of Moses, in the land of Egypt there was a tribe of Priests that came to Moses in need.
These priests were the Levites.
Prisoner slaves just as Moses and the Israelites were. They knew the land, and how to fight, and they learned much philosophy from the Jews while enslaved.
Upon the Exodus the Levites asked Moses to take them with him.
Moses agreed.
And out of a debt of Thanks, the Levites joined ranks with Moses.
He became a member of their tribe out of Honour.

It was out of this debt of Thanks that the Levites repaid their debt honouring Moses, and they became the keepers or guards of the Temple of Solomon.

The Levites were not celibate priests, and they did marry.

The question is: Were the Levites who escaped with Moses Married or not? There is no mention in our Lore if they were single or married.
If we are to assume they were not married, and thus did marry women of the Jewish tribes of Israelites, then the line is surely Jewish. If they were not Jews and came to Moses with families already, then the may not be Jewish. Was Moses really a Levite or was he an honourary one?

There are Judaic references to the possibility that the old keepers of the temple were not Jews, for they are described as not circumcised.
Most Jews believe that this refers to an earlier time than the Temple of Solomon, and the reference speaks of the temple of worship in general. It is interpreted by the Jews to mean that the Levites were always Jews and replaced the others at the time of Solomon.

So now you know the historical dilemma.
Our Lore does not speak of the Levites as Jews, but as partners of Moses.
Their belief in his Spiritual Life and Guidance converted the Levites to serve evermore.
It would be wonderful to say that I clearly know I am a Jew, but I don't feel qualified at all to make that call. Why would it matter? It would be another way to solidify the strong framework of Spritual ideals. I can see it as being a coin with the faiths forged on each side. To have a tangeble link would allow both to stretch out and fill some of the voids within each faith, the odd follower might have. For we all only take from religion which suits us and our needs. The ideals of belief and faith are dynamic in that way.

.........And for Generations the Levites were the revered Priests to the Temple of Solomon.
Keepers of the faith, Guards for the Temple, held in the highest reguard by the Jews.

Just before the fall of the Temple of Solomon the Levites were split into two groups. They and their families went off in two directions. For they were to escape again, with the treasures of the temple and guard them with their very lives. Lives lived only to serve God and the temple.
With all of the treasures and secrets the two halves of the Tribe of Levites split, and so was all the treasure. Not thieves, but guardians and preservers.
Half went to the East, and traveled the great deserts to keep their half of the treasures hidden.
Half went to the West, and traveled to the great wilderness to keep their half of the treasures hidden as well.

It is of that Western tribe that fled to the Wilderness, the Druids/Celts were born.
The Levites joined with small bands of pagans throughout the wilderness family by family. To spread the hiding places of the treasure throughout the Wilderness.
They were great teachers of the faith, and they saw opportunity that could grow.
They drew from the ancient pagan ideals and they taught the pagans rites and rituals from the Levite's faith.
The pagans had lived in fear, and now they had guidance and ritual and a reverence for deities in the words of the Levites.
The Levites understood that they needed to be able to join with the Pagans to be successful in their duties to the temple, so they amalgamated their rites into the beliefs of the Pagans. And hid away in these new tribes becoming one with the landscape.
Even the languages were influenced by the Levites.
The Pagans were divided by locality.
They called themselves Druids, or Celtics. Both languages the same, yet pronounced differently.

As time passed the idea of the treasure of the temple and the roots of the rites were set way back in the minds of the Druids/Celtics.
They were happy with their rituals, and the treasure and the journey became a myth.

The old Levites taught them to fight, and how to master the art of the stone mason. They taught them the rites and rituals and found ways to create references for the Oral Lore. Remember the Levites themselves had access to the treasure of Solomon to inspire their own deep-rooted teachings and beliefs. And being priests the Levites were scholars, and were influencing tribes that had no literacy who were in need of a way of passing tradition. They needed guidence on how to keep oral Lore.
The believers began to create stone monuments to their Gods. Great references for the rites and rituals.

Strangely enough we now see beautiful smooth stone and rough cut stones left by the ancients.
Foliage is important in the rebirth of the spiritual soul. So some fraternal orders refer to leaves like the acacia in their rituals to strengthen their own Lore.
The moon guided every ritual.
The stars helped tell the story.
The number of hours the sun shone each day determined what each follower would do the next day.
As the days got shorter they prepared for the harvest, and they celebrated firelight on the longest night.
When the days became longer they counted and waited, and as the longest day came closer they knew to plant their crops, the time of renewal had begun.

Those of you who wish to read more I have added some links for you to browse.


Friday, April 28, 2006

PREAMBLE: To Jew or not to Jew? That is the question.

Am I a Jew?

Our oral history says the Druids/Celts are descendants of the Levites (who were the priests to the Temple of Solomon) after they came to the Western Wilderness and amalgamated their rituals and rites with the beliefs of the Pagans of the region. Levites are Jews...........or are they?

Having the word Heritage preceding the word spiritualist means that my Spiritualist roots pre date Christianity.

Why does that matter?
Well in practice it really doesn’t matter as far as the Spiritualist belief is set. Many Heritage Spiritualists hold temple with Spiritualists with Christian ideals. For the mainstay of our faith is the same:

Spiritualists have deep faith that the Spirit of God is within the believer.
They believe in a true Omnipotent God, even if God enters the human vessel in multiple spiritual forms. For instance like the female and the male sides of the spirit of God. The “Ying and the Yang” of one Supreme Being.

Omnipotent is important because it refers to the Spirit of God being all things to all people and ever present. So even the old multiple Gods of ancient times are still thought of as Spirits of One God. More symbolic than terrible. Spiritualists believe that if a person attains a certain level of spirituality in their carnal life they will have the ability to become Spirit Guides or Guardians and pass messages after death. The only vessel used for this communication is the Spirit of God within us. That ever presence acts as a conduit for those who passed over to connect with that still on the carnal plain of existence.

The idea of the Spirit of God is also very paramount in the Spiritualist’s belief in faith healing, or the laying on of hands. Spiritualists believe that if you work in prayer to heal someone you are healing the spiritual soul. And in turn making the recipient and yourself more balanced so you both can feel better spiritually and emotionally. Keeping both of you open balanced vessels to accept outside help from conventional or holistic Medicine.

As you can see Spiritualism ideals can merge well with any faith. As long as the faith dogma does not see Spiritual messages as prophecy thus negative, and faith healing as too augmented for the believer.

In Canada we are in a time when those faithful living here can enjoy moving to the most Orthodoxy within their religions with pride. The Orthodox of all religions are free to evangelise their faith by openly claiming their faith and being living monuments to their God by thought word and deed. Without fear of ridicule believers feel free to show outward signs of their faith in public.

At the time my family members came from Europe, people did not feel so free.
Most would claim no denomination or accept a very diluted form of their faith. To keep the outsiders blind to their religion, and stifle any claims of heresy.

This was because two World Wars bread fear into believers so they immigrated to Canada.
Victims of vicious attacks upon Mankind for culture, faith, and locality; our ancestors usually fled here for freedom, jobs, or fear of fascism.
Every Parent, Grandparent and Great Grandparent came here vowing their children would never have to go through the horrible experience of war, refugee, penniless, and homelessness that they endured.

Some came because they saw too much turmoil. Some came because their homeland was wiped from the face of the Earth. Others because their sense of loss spurred a need for rebirth in a new land. Many fled in fear of not being able to be passive and peaceful, and of being forced to be conscripted.
In most cases the farthest we are is 3rd or 4th generation Canadians, in the new fresh land.
The collective memories of “the old country” are still quite fresh as far as our history is concerned.
Because of the shame of ridicule or fear I was one of those told never to tell anyone what my faith was, because people won’t understand.
Even now, as my Mother reads this she will feel fear that I will lose out on something by being so free with my faith. The knowledge of “the something” will be vague, and more of a feeling of fear than a tangible incident.

So with my preamble finally finished I can come to my point. To Jew or not to Jew?
A strange notation, none the less. It is not ridicule at all, but a real question many of us with the word Heritage as a prefix to our Spiritualism must ask.

For us Heritage who came from Druids/Celts can follow our roots back to the tribe of Levites.
Druids/Celts are matriarchal just as the Jews.
Many of our Spiritual practices are still that which are held within the Dogma of the Semites.
Salt/earth, flame and water cleanse our utensils and vessels to purify them.
We are bound to eat unleavened grain products during certain times of the year. And our rules of eating and food preparation are restrictive at times, and fanciful at others.
Our rituals and rights are practised by the calendar of the moon, and we celebrate harvest, growth, and cleansing as well as rebirth/or renewal.
It is important for our stories to be told generation to generation so all will be equal.
Are we chosen?
I don’t know.
Do we believe God has blessed us? Absolutely.
Could that make us chosen? Possibly.

These questions are at the forefront of another part of our faith that mirrors Judaism.
For it is questions like these that fill the bulk of our faith.
Beliefs that for one to grow spiritually within their faith, one must question it, debate it, and learn from scholars and peers about believing it. Then the faithful must go deep within themselves and pluck from the Spirit within, their answer. Finding the answer may take a lifetime. And if one finds it they will return to the “place where whence we came”. Eden…… be one with God.

I will share with you some of the Oral History that has been passed to me.
Some stories, presumed myths.
And I hope that in the end you will have stimulated your Spirit just a little, to rise up an original thought.

So Mote It Be.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Scrapbooking and Tears

Am I old or am I fresh.....?
I turn the pages of my memories and see all I have done and all I have left behind
No regrets......but wishes that my mind was sharper, and the true images swam within it

You are gone and some are lost
My friends from the good old days

I see you there in the photographs
So fair and fresh, so lucid and happy

Some are gone forever and some will never recover

Each scrapbook I create will be homage to you
Inside my heart you are still perfect

I love you and miss you

For those who can look with me
Upon those tender pages
Join me and remember

And if I leave you
I promise my life is engaged here
I have frozen these memories in time

Last night I began a gruelling task.
I pulled out every photo album. I looked through every picture. Yours, mine and ours.
I have never cried so much in my life.

This cry was not one of giant wailing tears.
It was the kind that drips over and over again releasing a wish with every drop.

My task was to create a photo time-line of my life.
I started at high school and ended with now.
I wanted significant friends within my photo line, and I wanted to create visuals of things I had done or experienced that I have been able to capture in picture.
I wanted to capture the people whom I consider true friends.
People whom at some point in my life helped me on my voyage to become the woman I am today.

Of course this seems like a real fancy trip down memory lane.
There were lots of great times captured over the years. That is for sure...
But sad memories are in there too.
Great times captured in that moment of glee, yet not dwelled upon since the death of a friend.
I saw pictures of "Annie Fanny" when we tore up the town in our day.
Then at that moment I wished she was still with us, and up to her old tricks.
A sense of loss it is.
A desire to have those old times almost forgotton.
Not wishing any suffering, but a selfish desire to have it all back.....even just for one moment.

Years go by as I browse the books picture by picture.
Beautiful families that helped me grow.
My friends, my acquaintances, my life.
The old neighbourhood and all of the Mom's and Dad's we kids shared and used to our hearts content.

Jimmy. Not my dad, but my best friend's dad.
Not gone, but lost. Lost inside a dream.
How can I pay him honest tribute?
I can only say it one way. Helen and Jimmy taught me how to hug.
And in turn I taught my Mom and Dad how to hug. Cuz kids teach parents everything.
So when they became Grandparents and I became a Mom, we taught my children how to hug.
And my children hug everyone!
And everyone thinks my Boys are the best things in the world!

See how it all works?
The best we can hope for in life is that we Effect people.
And if we can Effect Change it is the most awesome legacy we could ever hope for!

So it is with great pride and loving memories I create each scrapbook page and build an archive of our history. Yours, mine, and ours, from then till now.
Turn the page. Touch it. Feel the texture of the decoration. Weep if you will.
Smile if you must. Laugh if you dare.

I remember you.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Fall The Loss

Like Phoenixes From The Fires of Hell……
And out of the ashes raise 5 fluent Angels.
Gabriel cannot join thee………

It is a feeling in your chest. A vibration in your head, and thunder rolls as the drums start the battle cry of Fall The Loss.

I would have never thought that my little Cammy would end up the lead singer of a Heavy Metal Band.
I stand way back of the crowd trying to soak it all in.

I want to remember every moment when I hear the ecstasy of the crowd of fans wailing.

“Fall The Loss, Fall The Loss, Fall The Loss!” the people chant.
The energy swells within the room and then a harmonic tap on Chris’s guitar sends the fans into a screaming frenzy.

The onlookers know every song, and they are anticipating the moments that turn into a wild frenzy on stage.

Cam and Ben look like giants up there. The tendons in Cameron’s neck are pulsing as he releases his passionate lyrics to the crowd. Low, loud, baritone roar.

This is no romance ballad. It is Root, Pure, and intense carnal cries of the Man Machine.

Fall The Loss describes themselves as Alternative Metal.
I describe them as Death Metal, with pure classical instrumentals.
The quality of the musicianship is equal to top symphony skill.
Conservatory Trained musicians watch this band and see the hard work put into every original piece they play.
There are no WaWa pedals at this show. No Synth, and no Capo.
And power chords are child’s play to these young men.

Bass runs by Ben are lyrics, not alternates to drums.
The two front guitars debate with each other in every bar.
Chris Beason’s brainchild is the primary guitar sound.
John Cornell takes the songs of Chris and then addresses each note with his own fingering conversation.
As John begins to tap out his songs the crowd goes mad.
Dustin’s flash double-kick sound rises the emotion level of the crowd, as his drums build to a crescendo.

As each song is forged, it is Cam’s job to create meaningful lyrics that the band can relate to.

You will hear no repetitive banter in any of the Fall The Loss songs.
You will have to leave your prissy country sounds at the door if you dare enter the Angels' realm.

Every concert takes my mind back to when I was their age.
I feel 17 again when I listen to them play.


Saturday, April 22, 2006


Living Vicariously Through Your Parents

You know, I thought that as a parent I would be proud to live vicariously through my children.
Don’t get me wrong, but the idea of living your life through someone else’s life was something I attributed to Me as an adult, enjoying those interests ( that are different from mine) that my Husband and Sons have. I really never put to mind that my Parents have a pretty darn interesting life too.

At least, not until last month.

Something happened to my parents that my father says, “ Was one of the highlights of my life!”

Honestly my Dad has been a fairly high profile guy. He was a high ranking Toronto Police Detective when he retired, and in his Police career did some ground breaking things like become the first hostage negotiator, and he trained the most recent past Deputy Chief as a Cadet; besides being a guard for the Pope and the Queen!
After my Dad retired from the Police Department he and my Mom opened up a pretty well known Salmon fishing charter business. So I really thought they both had experienced some awesome life!

My Dad has become very friendly with “Mr T”, the mailman.
When you are retired and are a very social character it is easy to make conversation with the mailman and your variety store owner and your Pharmacy clerk. Dad enjoys being chatty and really gets into the fact that he now has leisure time to stop and smell the roses, or at least gossip on the corner.

Through the winter “Mr. T” mentioned to my Dad that he is engaged to Vicky Sunohara, who is one of the Stars of the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. Dad was just thrilled by this news and had been following the great feats of Our Awesome Team since Nagano. He loves hockey, and watching each exciting game on TV rejuvenates him.
Every day during the Torino Olympic games Dad would wait for “Mr. T” to deliver the mail, so he could talk about the recent game. Dad would be able to talk about every play, and share the pride of “Mr. T” about his so far away FiancĂ©e.

The Olympics came and went, and all Canadians had a tear in their eye watching the Women’s Team take home “The Gold”!

A few weeks went by. My Mom and Dad were just sitting around, playing a game of cards, when a knock was heard at the door.

Standing before them on their front stoop was the Infamous Vicky Sunohara and “Mr.T”.
She heard about the interest all the folks on “Mr. T’s” route had taken in the team and shared with “Mr. T”, and she came to say thank you for the support.

Mom and Dad were in awe. Standing before them was a true sports hero. A woman who is the pride of all Canadians. A woman who is a positive role model for all kids. A woman who served with honour on our Olympic Team, even though it meant leaving her family and Fiancé, behind for half a year to prepare.
You never know how you will be surprised in life.
And I have learned from this to listen to everyone’s story and be friendly and chatty.
And if you are positive, you just may effect someone enough, for her to come and say
Thank You.