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Christian Animism

Hoorah!  It is finally out!  Thank you to all of you who have supported this project through the many years of its writing.  My book on Christian Animism is here.

I’m now in the process of setting up some readings and workshops, so if you know of anyone who might want to work with this material, please let me know!

Christo – what???

As someone who keeps track of evolving trends in religion and spirituality, I’ve noticed that there is a (relatively) new term floating around these days: ChristoPaganism.  Because this is still a very fluid designation, the following reflections are not to be taken as definitive, but rather as my own take on this new phenomenon.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as well!

ChristoPaganism is a new religious movement comprised of individuals who self-identify as both Christian and Pagan.  As a hybridized faith, ChristoPaganism is often denied and/or rejected by both Christianity and NeoPaganism, and ChristoPagans tend to be reduced to silence in both “parent” communities.  ChristoPagans can be Christians who adopt, adapt, and practice various facets of NeoPaganism (such as magic, fairie-lore, Goddess thealogy, spiritual ecology, animism, runework, crystals, etc.), or Pagans who feel a strong connection with Jesus, Mary, the saints, and other Christian figures, and include these relationships in their spiritual practice.  While not a well-defined body of belief or practice, ChristoPaganism may be viewed as a sphere of overlap between the two religious traditions, where each respects, understands, and mutually transforms the other in positive ways.

As a zone of peace between two antagonistic traditions, the Ecumenical Companions of Sophia attempts to share the abundant grace of Jesus’ love with NeoPagans, and the magical cosmology of NeoPaganism with Christians.  With respect and mutual understanding, there is transformation, healing, and love.  May it ever be so: Amen.

 

Elvenkind    Another way of understanding ChristoPaganism is to think of it as a form of “Elven” spirituality.  In Tolkien’s legendarium of Middle Earth, the Elves (or Quendi) are the Children of Illuvatar (God) who are the most naturally magical, and in touch with the realm of the angels (the Valar in Valinor).  For a number of different reasons, some people here in the “real world” bear a strong spiritual resemblance to Tolkien’s Elves.  Usually these people are highly sensitive, psychic, intuitive, visionary, “dreamy”, artistic, intellectually precocious, and insatiably curious, especially about things pertaining to the spirit world.  In more modern “Harry Potter” parlance, these are the “magical” rather than the “muggle” folk.

Institutional religion has never been altogether comfortable with Elvenkind.  At worst, those of Elvish temperment have been driven out as heretics or burnt at the stake as witches.  At best, there has been an uneasy tolerance for those with psychic gifts and mystical tendencies.  These days, I’ve seen a tragic exodus of “Elves” from the church, with many finding a more hospitable home in Wiccan, Druid, or other NeoPagan communities.  The wisdom and the welcome they find in these traditions is powerful and real.  But in this migration, the church is losing a precious gift and treasure.  The Elvenkind are people of angelic blessing, uncomfortable as this may be for some.  The church neglects her Elven children to her own peril.

The Ecumenical Companions of Sophia strives to be a safe and welcoming refuge for Elvenkind in the church.  If you suspect that you may have “Elvish blood”, if the Rune of Sophia resonates with your spirit, please be in touch.  You are not alone.

a book, coming soon!

Greetings from the country, and many apologies for such a long gap since the last post … life happens!

So here’s my good news: I now have a contract with Christian Alternative Books (a UK press) to publish my monograph on Christian Animism.  If all goes well, late spring or early summer 2015 will see its release.  It has been a long time in the works!  Many thanks to all those who supported this writing in so many different ways.  Once it is out, I’ll be trying to organize some launches and readings, and then promote the book as a way to introduce the Ecumenical Companions of Sophia (and Sophian Druidry) to the wider public.

Lots of work, but looking forward to it!

Weaving Wyrd

Originally posted on Shalomstead:

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Well, there it is: the loom. We brought it from Saskatoon, set it up in our bedroom, and watched it gather dust, until now!

Over the past couple of days, my wonderful and mystical Aunt Jacquee sojourned with us and shared her years of craft-wisdom with myself and our good neighbour Judy. Jacquee worked with us for a goodly number of hours as we wound warp, dressed the loom, and began to weave. What an adventure!

For decades, I’ve been fascinated with weaving, ever since I read a passage in The Book of Three which described one of the heroes weave together some blades of grass, while simultaneously enchanting it to become a magic net. I’m not sure why, but the image stayed with me, and the language of “warp and weft” grew into a powerful metaphor for something big and mysterious in life. Something Spirit-woven.

I encountered this type…

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Hey there good people … sorry it’s been so long since the last post.  We’ve been totally absorbed in getting ready for this big move to the country, and it’s finally happening!

The boxes are (almost) packed, the moving truck is booked, the goodbye parties are over, and Thursday is the big day.

As part of this amazing adventure, our family is doing a blog called “Shalomstead”, which is the name of our new home.  Come check it out!

And please pray for us as we move … we need all the help we can get!

Peace,

Shawn

Greetings Sophian friends!

I hope this note finds you well, and that you’ve enjoyed a good Christmas season! I’ve got some news I want to share with you.

In July of this year, we are going to be moving! After much deliberation, we’ve decided to take the plunge and head “back to the land” (yeah, you all knew we were just hippies in disguise, didn’t you?)

In the summer, we will be packing up and moving to an off the grid organic farm near Cochin (20 minutes north of the Battlefords). There, the Ternier – Burns family has graciously offered to take us on as greenhorn homesteaders, and show us the ropes of low-tech small-scale organic gardening, farming, woodscraft, animal husbandry, and seed-saving. We will be helping out with their CSA (community-shared agriculture) project, and living as simply as possible. There is no power on the farm apart from solar, and no running water … it is truly going to be an adventure!

We’re planning on going out for a trial year, leasing our house in Saskatoon, and then evaluating if we are crazy or not. If it goes well, we may very well relocate permanently.
We’re pretty excited about this move, but of course the negative side means saying goodbye to our life here in Saskatoon. We’ll be back and forth on a fairly regular basis, but still, a move like this means that relationships will morph and change.

One of the changes is that our Sophian grove will be drawing to a close. We will try to have at least one more full moon ceremony before we leave, to celebrate the community which has been built over the past few years. One thing I’ve learned over several decades of communal experimentation is that small groups have a life-cycle of their own, and that is OK! There is a time to call the circle, and a time to let it go.

That said, if there is anyone in the grove who is feeling called to take on leadership and continue the Sophian gatherings, please let me know!

I’m looking forward to connecting with you before we move, and please send prayers/good energy for us as we prepare for this major transition!

Peace and Blessings in Sophia,

Shawn, Janice, Christopher, Rowan, and Robin

Hey there all you druids and tree-lovers, here’s a beautiful video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTtjXfc9HJY

Be inspired by the tenacity and grace of these trees, and know that you have their strength in your own spirit.

Sophia’s blessing,

Shawn

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