what's put a little bump in the road I've been taking on my journey. And the bump is getting a little on the big side.
I haven't been completely idle over the last few weeks, I've been reading and learning here and there. Luckily for me, my fabulous second Mom (read Ma-in Law) has similar interests; and I like to pick up knowledge wherever I can. So when I noticed that she had a few books by James Van Praagh in her library stack I picked them up and started to do a little reading.
I often find that Pagan concepts are sometimes interchangeable with the concepts of other spiritual practices. Up to and including some Christian practices; although in the case of Christian and specifically some Catholic practices and rituals I know that this is because these religions picked up Pagan practices as a way to bring more people into their fold (the celebrations of Eostara and Easter for example.) What I found with Mr Van Praagh's books was that some of the things he does to get ready to practice his talents are interchangeable with what is standard practice for getting oneself ready for ritual; these things have just been fit into a shape that is more acceptable to someone who has been brought up within an environment that frowns upon (and sometimes even more than frowns upon depending on how open and loving a mind is) those things that fall outside of the norm.
Mr Van Praagh's background is based in Catholicism, (at one point in his youth he was training to become a priest) but when he gets ready to speak to the spirits he follows the steps of cleansing, grounding (imagining energy filling his body and spreading out beyond himself) and calling in his spiritual guides and Deity to protect himself and to bless his work thorough prayer and meditation.
When I get ready to do ritual I go through the same steps of cleansing, grounding where the earth's energy is drawn up from the core until is cascades out my fingers, toes and top of my head. I cast a circle by calling in the quarters and Deity as I cast a circle to help me with the work I wish to do. Looking at the two practices side by side they are very similar; almost interchangeable if you take out specifics regarding spirit and religion.
I suppose what I'm getting at is that once more my thoughts about Deity (whether Deity be a singular God or Goddess or a whole pantheon) and spiritual practice (whether it be Pagan or a more mainstream religious practice) are all about the same thing.