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dancing naked under the moon

August 6, 2010

Okay, there was no naked anyone, and the moon was hidden behind clouds, but it was a beautiful summer night in someone’s back yard.  Most of the ritual was just so much flash and posturing to me, not all that different really than a Catholic mass in that department, but religion is not about the pretty accoutrement or blustery words…and despite a healthy dose of skepticism going in, I was there to see if there was any substance behind the bling.

I was there as a spectator really, and little to do with the ritual itself aside from hold a candle for part of the time.  I observed as they set up sacred space, as they called to the god and goddess.  There was a guided meditation that I participated in and it was then that I felt it.

Let me backtrack a little.  Even at the little store front church there were moments where I felt this…this connection, almost as though you’ve stepped outside of the world and are somewhere between here and whatever else is out there. I always knew that moment as grace, as the touch of God’s finger on my soul.  It was not a constant thing, but in times of extended worship or prayer, it would happen…and it always affected me.

Standing there, in that circle, it happened again.

It started with a sense of separation.  Despite the fact that I was standing with seven other people in a rather small space, I felt as though I were alone.  I felt safe though, as if I were in a place designed to let me open myself.  My desire for that connection, for understanding cracked open the door and I felt it.  Just as sure as I had kneeling at the altar or with my hands raised and eyes closed singing praise.

Needless to say, that experience gave me a whole lot to think about.

I didn’t sleep that night.  I sat up thinking and researching.

If what I knew was the touch of God wasn’t actually the touch of God, what was it?  And what did that mean? How did it change what I believed?  Or was it still the touch of God, reaching through the trappings of man-made religion to find me?  Was it a warning to come back to Him or a sign that god could not be defined by man’s rules?

It touched off a new, slightly frantic phase of my spiritual pursuit.  I devoured books at the rate of one a day. I started a journal to ramble about what I was feeling and learning and where it was leading.

My lists started to change again.  And I started to search out opportunities to experience other services, to meet people and learn how they connected with the Divine.   Somewhere in there I stumbled across an overgrown, unremarkable path…and decided to see where it went.

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