In a decidedly Christian church for the first time in half my life, I feel the heat radiating off my body as I resist the urge to get up and flee. I quiet my fires with reminders that I am choosing this, that I want this. More than that, I prayed for this. I sat in my car and prayed that I would find the peace of mind to go back to a church. After the sermon, the woman next to me asks what I thought. I’m afraid I’ve already forgotten the message, but what stays with me is that this church understands the metaphysical sciences of universalism, and isn’t going to get hung up on the individual language we bring to that. It’s exactly what I need right now.
There is no fire and brimstone beyond our own creation. There’s God speaking to us in the languages we know, reaching for us in the places we seek Her in. Mother-Father God, ascended masters, the angels, and all beings of light aligned to the same purposes–healing our wounds, gently returning us back to our all-loving relationship with God, making good out of the evil deeds that confuse and complicate our existence.
“I’ll be back,” I decide, the last time I was at the church any less than three times a week.
Face-up on the massage table receiving touch healing from between six and eighteen members of the church all at once, I experience a new degree of the heat sometimes associated with Reiki. Their hands are searing hot, melting into me as all sense of a border between my body and theirs begins to burn away. Where my form remains, I can feel sweat dripping. In my mind, I travel backwards through so many embarrassing moments and interactions I would very much like to forget.
I’m struggling to find peace when the image of a grey-skinned, oval-headed angel with large, soft eyes of obsidian appears in my mind surrounded by a starry field of royal blue. The orbit of celestial bodies crowns the space above his head in golden dust, and pinched between his fingers is a molecule-thin sword of light which he delicately directs to trim away my guilt of sin. Archangel.
I remember and find fellow journeymen to share with the reconciliation I felt in the presence of God in the wilderness. The past exists as a memory, and neither God nor I (nor anyone I have harmed or perceived to harm) exist there any longer. Here we are in the present moment, each moment unfolding. May we find healing in these moments. May we find peace and freedom from the memories we still hold. Grace is present, peace is present, forgiveness and growth already are.
There’s a freedom when I get off the table, a lightness. I’m ready to be in this moment again.
Sitting in the sanctuary, I close my eyes to focus as solely as possible on this renewed relationship to God I am experiencing. Over the course of the evening, three or four givers approach from behind me and direct the presence of divine love back into my mind. Sometimes I see colors, I smell energies, I receive little mantras to get me through the week–’I am a child of God,’ ‘God is faithful,’ ‘God is one/in/all.’ I perceive the little differences in them and me, me and God, until finally, on the fourth week it happens so subtly I want to laugh.
Feel this, I hear in my mind. And I envision sunlight streaming gently down from above. I stay with it as my vertigo returns and the room begins to sway. I love you, I repeat over and over again to God. My internal voice slurs and distorts until love is the only word cycling in repetition any longer. Ah-ha! I think to smile. Will we do it now? All distinctions fail, all senses overloaded and blind. As a teenage psychonaut, I termed this space ‘the white world,’ unsure if my eyes were even open or closed anymore as my mind is filled with deafening white light and the full absence of all the aggregates that define our day-to-day lives.
In that moment, the channel presses down on the top of my head and I return peacefully to my body. Everything is in perfect harmony. And ah, this is the purpose of these blessings, to touch that oneness and to learn to carry it with you. I am blessed.
Afterwards, even the mundane seems like a beautiful sign or task planned by a God undeniably present in this world. The first night, an enormous circular cloud hovers above the church and the whole city. The fourth night, I return to work afterwards and find joy and purpose in doing the dishes, content in knowing this is God’s need for me right now.
I am making myself available in service to this God’s people. It’s an exercise I’ve pushed myself into before as part of theurgistic occult research. This time there is no ‘pushing’ myself. There’s just me wanting to do it. There’s no research, there’s just intimacy. There’s no longing, there’s just touch. Effortlessly I have arisen in this relationship with the God here, the same God I have encountered in the wilderness and potentially elsewhere. In my mind still though is a battle between merging completely into this new consciousness and obsessing over intellectualizing, categorizing, defining every moment of it.
Even after this God and I have reconciled, even as I am learning to accept our relationship has always been present, I struggle with how to translate that knowing into the languages of mysticism I’ve lived in for years prior. I wonder if all this is ‘too metaphysical,’ ‘too Christian,’ ‘too Abrahamic,’ ‘too Pagan,’ ‘too Qabalistic gobbledygook,’ ‘too weird,’ ‘too ET,’ too whatever for whoever might read me, hear me, or analyze this new period in my life. I worry that people will think I’m going to become like someone who has rejected them or hurt them in the past. All I know to say to that is that it’s not my intention. It’s not my understanding of God or this relationship I’m in.
I want to let go of that anxiety. I want to stop worrying, stop translating to ‘normal’ speech, stop minimizing, stop hiding. I’m in the midst of something many people from across time and culture–Pagans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus–spend their lives searching for: an intimate and revealing relationship with God.
I’m learning a new language to talk about it all. I hope sharing propels us all forward, challenges us to go deeper with all of our gods, and gives us new dreams for what all is possible in those relationships.