Did Jesus Exist – was he Historical or Just a Myth?

Roman Historican Tactitus' Book ANNALS
TACIT CONFIRMATION. Roman historian Tacitus’s last major work, Annals, mentions a “Christus” who was executed by Pontius Pilate and from whom the Christians derived their name

Did Jesus Exist?, asks this article. This is an age-old question that people are still asking — and arguing vehemently over. The mythicists say Jesus never existed, was made up, but the historicists say he was an historical figure, yes indeed. Everyone makes it an either / or argument, but as I have said here before it is so wonderful to turn it into a both / and belief. Jesus existed historically and was also part of and fulfilment of ancient mythology. He fulfilled the dying / resurrecting fertility myth and became a perfect archetype of it. BOTH / AND you argumentive people. Try it out. You’ll love it. (smile)

+Katia Romanoff

The Vigil of Christmas

Look at this awesomeness from Oremus.org   Thank you to Bishop Wm for sending.

OREMUS for December 24

The Vigil of Christmas

Lord, open our lips,

and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.


Blessed are you, God of Abraham and Sarah,

the God of David and his descendants

unwearied is your love for us

and steadfast is your covenant;

wonderful beyond words

is your gift of the Saviour, born of the Virgin Mary.

You count us among the people in you delight,

and by this night’s marriage of earth and heaven,

you draw all generations into the embrace of your love.

For these and all your mercies, we praise you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessed be God for ever!


An opening canticle may be sung.


Psalm 119:1-8


Happy are they whose way is blameless,*

who walk in the law of the Lord!

Happy are they who observe his decrees*

and seek him with all their hearts!

Who never do any wrong,*

but always walk in his ways.

You laid down your commandments,*

that we should fully keep them.

O that my ways were made so direct*

that I might keep your statutes!

Then I should not be put to shame,*

when I regard all your commandments.

I will thank you with an unfeigned heart,*

when I have learned your righteous judgements.

I will keep your statutes;*

do not utterly forsake me.

How shall the young cleanse their way?*

By keeping to your words.

With my whole heart I seek you;*

let me not stray from your commandments.

I treasure your promise in my heart,*

that I may not sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord;*

instruct me in your statutes.

With my lips will I recite*

all the judgements of your mouth.

I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees*

than in all manner of riches.

I will meditate on your commandments*

and give attention to your ways.

My delight is in your statutes;*

I will not forget your word.

Deal bountifully with your servant,*

that I may live and keep your word.

Open my eyes, that I may see*

the wonders of your law.

I am a stranger here on earth;*

do not hide your commandments from me.

My soul is consumed at all times*

with longing for your judgements.

You have rebuked the insolent;*

cursed are they who stray from your commandments!

Turn from me shame and rebuke,*

for I have kept your decrees.

Even though rulers sit and plot against me,*

I will meditate on your statutes.

For your decrees are my delight,*

and they are my counsellors.


My soul cleaves to the dust;*

give me life according to your word.

I have confessed my ways and you answered me;*

instruct me in your statutes.

Make me understand the way of your commandments,*

that I may meditate on your marvellous works.

My soul melts away for sorrow;*

strengthen me according to your word.

Take from me the way of lying;*

let me find grace through your law.

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;*

I have set your judgements before me.

I hold fast to your decrees;*

O Lord, let me not be put to shame.

I will run the way of your commandments,*

for you have set my heart at liberty.


FIRST READING [Zechariah 2:10-13]:


Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all people, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.



Words: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1885

Tune: Gartan, Hermitage


Love came down at Christmas,

love all lovely, love divine;

love was born at Christmas:

star and angels gave the sign.


Worship we the Godhead,

love incarnate, love divine;

worship we our Jesus,

but wherewith the sacred sign?


Love shall be our token;

love be yours and love be mine,

Love to God and to all men,

love for plea and gift and sign.


SECOND READING [Romans 16:25-27]:


Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.


The Benedictus (Morning),

the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.



The time is at hand and your promises are fulfilled.

With joyful hearts we pray:

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming:

come to those who are destitute and alone.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

come to the homeless, the addicted, and all held in bondage.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

to liberate your creation and set us free.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

to those who long to be taken to their eternal home.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming

upon the Church that we may proclaim

the good news of your birth.

Today we shall see your salvation!


Almighty God,

you make us glad with the yearly remembrance

of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:

grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,

so we may with sure confidence behold him

when he shall come to be our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Awaiting his coming in glory,

let us pray as our Savior has taught us:


– The Lord’s Prayer


Make our hearts leap with joy

and fill our mouths with songs of praise,

that we may announce glad tidings of peace,

and welcome the Christ in our midst. Amen.



The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The

Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.


The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary

Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops’ Council, 2002.


The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized

Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education

of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by

permission. All rights reserved.


The collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the

Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is

copyright (c) The Archbishops’ Council, 2000.


The closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common

Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common



The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from a collect in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Esoteric Christianity Helps Reconcile Spiritual Magical Beliefs with Mainstream Religion

A visitor wrote today:

I am based in London, UK. I am in the process of reconciling my spiritual / magical beliefs with my Catholic upbringing and have been searching for a religion or even just a group of people who share it. I found your website for Esoteric Christianity and Theosophy and I was wondering if you know of a church like this in the UK or if you can point me towards recommended reading for someone new to this path?

+Katia answered:

A good place to post your question below would be to our online forums. They are old but venerable, and have lots of people on them including UK residents. Here is the list of forums. I recommend GoddessChristians and EsotericChristians to post your question.


And here is a good booklist we use with our Mystery School students: http://northernway.org/books.html ; First thing to read imo is Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose

I also recommend the “other” first thing to read(!) which is:
http://www.northernway.org/seminary/div/ba/index.html the last course on this page, the Inner Christianity course. The book is a life-changer! (smile)


+Katia Romanoff

Is Anarchy Loosed Upon the World? Fall of Rome, anyone?

Watching the news about the Las Vegas shooter I actually wondered if he’d been demon possessed or inspired by Satan. I wonder that also when ISIL-inspired freaks commit mass murder. I can hear my grandmother’s voice, “It’s the Devil’s work”.  But maybe it’s more mundane — gambling debts and a psychotic personality.
Then today I received an email invitation to a Damned Ball about “enlightened darkness”. Truly makes me ask, as generation after generation has in the past,  “What is the world coming to?” Tiberius wasn’t even this depraved with his orgies. Or maybe he was. I don’t know.
The news often feels like the Fall of Rome or the Book of Revelation.
One of our seminarians mentioned Yeats’ hundred-year-old poem, The Second Coming. Sure seems to fit, especially lines 5 thru 8.  The final 2 lines have always been scary to me…  (see below). Last century, everyone thought how uncanny that Yeats seemed to predict Hitler’s rise and the holocaust — “burnt offering” — the great genocide in Europe. Now his apocalyptic poem could mean something altogether more horrible coming down the pike — or should I say, “slouching” down the pike!
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The beast rises up to destroy the last valiant light worker priest
How small but valiant is the light standing up against the Beast

Mary Magdalene: Wife of Jesus, Mother of his Children

Tomorrow, July 22nd, is Magdalene Day. The Church long believed this was her birthday and celebrated the 22nd of July every year as the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene. The beautiful painting below shows Magdalene as the wife of Jesus and mother of his children. An ancient manuscript suggests Jesus married Mary Magdalene as explained in one of my favorite articles on the subject of Jesus’ marriage to “the Magdalene”.  Magdalene is a title meaning “great” because Mary Magdalene was ordained the First Lady of Christianity.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene married with children
Was there a sacred marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene?


Magdalene Feast Day Online Retreat



Magdalene Feast Day: Virtual Temple Retreat!


{Quick side note: For several months I’ve been intending a virtual retreat on Magdalene Feast day this weekend. But it’s only just today that I’m clear and aligned with the essence and message of this invitation to you. That’s a tale for another time, hard but true. So while this invite is later than I hoped, (unless you saved the date 😉  I do hope you can still join me. Read on…}



Shhh…..Listen, sister….can you hear it?


The sounds of bare feet padding down the temple halls.


The allure of lush color, pungent fragrance, a warm embrace…

Come, you’re being called.


Magdalene Mysteries ~ Virtual Temple Retreat is this Saturday.


Gather in a circle on-line (you don’t have to live nearby!) for retreat and reflection on the magic and mystery of Mary Magdalene, on her holy feast day. Discover who she really is and what her message is for you. (Whether you’re Christian or not, she’s relevant.)


Explore a lost icon of the Christian tradition—the Goddess in the Gospels—whose presence (and banishment) has everything to do with your divinity, power and magic as a woman.


Come, sister…


I’m gifting you this virtual gathering (It’s free!)  to enter sacred space and reconnect with your Feminine Soul


Join a circle of sisters from around the globe.


Retreat for 2 hours, using your phone or computer to share stories: missing mythology, ancient esoteric knowledge, re-visioned history.


Saturday 10am PT. Details to join, below.


Journey in meditation to gather wisdom that your soul wants you to hear.
Tap your creative spirit as we create shamanic art together that expresses your soul messages.


Breathe, move, embody the holy temple your body is.


Recover the lost wisdom of Magdalene and The Magdalene Path!


All in a safe and sacred space broadcast via Zoom* from the Balch Hotel library. No cost to you.


If you’re drawn to the mystery of the Magdalene or the magic of the Divine Feminine, come, you’re being called.


Since you’re already part of the circle here, I’m not doing an separate sign up for you…


Here are the details….

(Copy it into your calendar now, so you don’t forget. ;)


When: Saturday, July 22, at 10 am Pacific/ 1 pm Eastern (plan for 2 hours) 

Where: Via Phone or Webcast on Zoom*


Join me here: from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/603329638

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,,603329638# or +16465588656,,603329638#


Or Telephone: Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) Meeting ID: 603 329 638


International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=x3q21XKStlJ-OLl7ViKQys6QJZABgcPF


*Never used Zoom? It’s great and easy—it allows us to see and talk with each other in a group. Log in early so any tech issues can get sorted out before we start.


While it’s best to attend live to experience the energy and sisterhood of the gathering, sometimes life doesn’t allow that. So don’t worry, the call will be recorded. You’ll get the replay and can still be part of it.


I’ll see you Saturday?

PS Share this with a friend you think would love this. Guys, I’m thinking of you.



Upcoming Events in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon

Experience Community, Connection and Creativity

  • Creative Spirits at Jacob Williams Winery 7/26/17 6:30pm $40 REGISTER
  • Creative Spirits at Balch Hotel 9/21/17 6:30 pm $40 REGISTER
  • Sisterhood Supper at the Balch Hotel, 8/24/17 6:00 pm (FREE)



Live elsewhere? Virtual event dates are being developed. Stay tuned for details





Ready To Dive Deeper…?

Treat yourself to a copy of this encouraging, inspirational book that awakens your innate beauty and ignites the power of your Divine Feminine. 


The Magdalene Path:

Awaken the Power of Your Feminine Soul


The Magdalene Path is a deep dive into the process of awakening your hidden power as a woman. Rooted in the wisdom of Mary Magdalene, this guidebook of Feminine Soul  offers compelling ideas and practical skills.


Bring the Sacred Feminine within you into your daily life. So there’s no longer a split between your spiritual and “regular” self!


In addition to inspiring Divine downloads from Mary Magdalene–received by Claire in meditation and prayer–you’ll discover how to create a life that nurtures your soul and fulfills your deepest longings.


There are 24 tools woven in to deepen the teachings from concept to practice. So this isn’t esoteric teaching–you can take this wisdom and apply in your life in a meaningful way!


Published by Balboa Press, Hay House. Trade paperback 243 pages $17.99 Personally inscribed for you by the author (moi!)



You’ll Receive:

  • Magdalene Path book with 24 practices $17.99 value
  • Personal Inscription to you from Author- priceless! And included (you can’t get that on Amazon!)
  • Hand decorated mailing package $5.00 value–included!
  • Shipping and Handling $5.00–included! (**US ORDERS ONLY< SORRY. International orders, please inquire)


Total Value: $27.99


YOUR Direct Indie Author PRICE: $21.99*

 **US ONLY…International orders, please inquire via email)




Praise for  The Magdalene Path:


“Brava to Claire Sierra for her brave and honest work on The Magdalene Path. I am proud to call her my sister on the journey!”

~New York Times Bestselling Author, Kathleen McGowan, author of The Expected One, The Book of Love and others


“I have waited lifetimes for the writings in your book. The whole of me is so congruent with each line of text, from the deep knowing of my soul to the questioning of my ego. It’s hard to put down and gives me much to look forward to. Good work! Namaste, sister!”  ~Karri G., Applegate, OR


I am totally blown away! I literally could not put it down. The Magdalene Path holds crucial pieces to a much bigger picture…” ~Bobbye M., Chicago, IL


“Claire Sierra has composed a marvelous tapestry of insights, discoveries, tools, and resources for all of us to use in designing a new global culture. The wisdom of the Magdalene gives us all hope for Heaven on Planet Earth.” ~ Rev. Ruth L. Miller, PhD,author of The New Game of Life, Mary’s Power and many others


Order your author signed copies here today


For more info about the book, visit: MagdalenePath.com


   *PS–When you purchase directly from Indie authors you support small business. You get personal connection and care that you won’t from Amazon!




The Goddess Coloring Book Kit


Sometimes we need a little help to get our creative juices flowing. (I know I do!) So to aid you (or a loved one), I created a coloring book for grown-ups: 22 Feminine Soul images fresh from the pages of my sketchbooks.


These images are designed with ample space for you to play and express yourself. Color outside the lines, add your own symbols, shapes and lines. Make it your own, over and over again.


This full-length print version of the Goddess Coloring Book is 22 pages, 9″ x 11″,single-sided with blank pages for your own doodles and sketches. You can easily copy and reuse–over and over!


Included in the kit, is a package of 16 Oil Pastels (shown above), to get started right away. No need to dig out your kids’ old crayons or dried up markers.You’ll love the creamy softness and bright color. Easy to blend and create texture.  They come in a self-contained sleeve box, so they travel nicely.


Makes a great (and unusual) gift!

Comes in a hand painted envelope, ready for gifting!


The Goddess Coloring Book Kit

  • Goddess Coloring Book – $9.95 value
  • Oil Pastel kit  – $5.95 value


$14.95 coloring book and oil pastel set

+ $5 shipping and handling

Total: $19.95

(US Orders ONLY)



Would you rather have this as a Download?


My European friends requested this.

A Downloadable PDF of the Goddess Coloring Book AND the Practices Workbook from The Magdalene Path.

Includes a gorgeous Sacred Dreamer gift card (The Magdalene Path book cover).

Shipping is included in the price. You’ll get the card via airmail.

(Unfortunately no oil pastels included. You can purchase those separately & add it to your gift.)


Goddess Coloring Book Download

Price: $9.95

Includes: postage (including international) and customized gift card mailed to you or to your gift recipient. NOTE: NO oil pastels included.


Here’s the link to purchase the Goddess Coloring Book as PDF Download Gift Card:

(Just in case it’s broken, here’s the link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=PQTUFVNKTY69W


**Please include the address you wish the download card to be mailed to in the “Note to Seller” box in Paypal. Otherwise, we’ll mail it to you.


If you just want it emailed to you, we can do that also. Indicate that in the “Note to Seller” box in your PayPal order.



Meet Claire


Claire Sierra, MA, is the author of The Magdalene Path – Awaken the Power of Your Feminine Soul, published by a division of Hay House. The Magdalene Path, has been called “a guidebook of ancient wisdom for contemporary women.”  Claire divined ways to bring Feminine Soul into your daily life using Mary Magdalene as a wisdom guide and archetype..


As an Expressive Arts Therapist, True Purpose™ Master Coach, and Licensed Esthetician, Claire has helped thousands of women who felt lost and confused about purpose, use the arts to gain clarity and new direction for their lives. For over 2 decades she has guided access to divine connection, creativity and soul purpose in sessions across the globe.


As Spa Wellness & Retreat Director of the Balch Hotel and Bliss at the Balch Spa, Claire also offers in-person private and virtual retreats, as well as wellness sessions that merge spa services with creative, reflective soul coaching sessions.


As a visionary mixed media artist, Claire has art in collections throughout the U.S, including the Balch Hotel Gallery. Her artwork graces The Magdalene Path and The Goddess Coloring Book.

She is a featured writer for Bella Mia magazine, and has contributed to wellness magazines for decades.


She lives with her husband in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon where they are the proprietors of the Historic Balch Hotel, a boutique inn and retreat center. The Balch was recently named #13 of 100 Top Fan Favorite Destinations in Oregon, according to Trip Advisor, Google and Yelp.


FREE RESOURCES: Download your FREE Chapter (and other goodies) from The Magdalene Path by going to: MagdalenePath.com.  For a FREE MP3 download of “LightBreath Guided Meditation: Instant Relief for Burnout, Exhaustion and Overwhelm” visit: BlissBreakthrough.com.  You will also receive this monthly newsletter.


Bliss Breakthrough Programs

PO Box 44

Dufur OR 97021



This message was sent from claire@blissbreakthrough.com

Claire Sierra
Bliss Breakthrough Coaching and Counseling
1024 NW Lawnridge Ave
Grants Pass, OR 97526

Life Eats – but is it a Predator v. Prey System?

God did not create evil. Evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of life.
My friend wrote:
I have often contemplated the nature of evil, along with the pervading ‘system’ in this world, the predator vs prey system of life.
No matter what dietary choices one makes in life, life in this world exists by the living consuming the living.
For humans: pescetarianism may be more humane than eating animals. Vegetarianism may be more humane than eating fish. Veganism may be more humane than eating dairy products…. but each and every diet on Earth, including veganism, consumes the living. Plants are living and are more aware than ever previously understood or recognized, as scientists are beginning to discover. The living must eat the living in order to survive on this Earth.
I wrote back:
“Life Eats,” my mythology professor wrote on the board. He wrote it several times during that semester. He made us contemplate it and write about it. It made a huge impression on me. Class after class I began to realize the deep meaning of this rule of life.
He further explained:   “Life also longs for itself.”
This longing for itself is what makes men and women want to have children, drives our biological urges. “Bio” means life…. our LIFE-ological urges of reproduction and eating are part of Earth’s wonderfully organic life-system. The other extreme is Jainism for instance, where they will go hungry if the cooking fire is harming insects. The Shakers decided all biological urges (except eating) were “unholy”, and so they stopped reproducing completely. They no longer exist among the living because of that choice. They chose not to “play the game of life,” but every day they were alive they were part of the LIFE EATS system.

My friend also wrote:

It only makes sense that as we pulled further and further away from Our Mother, the higher vibration of the Pleroma and the higher realms, our world and our bodies would become more and more dense. This density requires a more dense fuel or nutrition hence, the predator vs prey system.
* * * * * * * * *
Now don’t go all Gnostic on me. Our Heavenly Parents in the Pleroma were spiritual beings but also had bodies.  They wanted physical bodies for their spiritual children. They had experienced, and wanted us to experience, the amazing intersection of spiritual and physical, divine and human, the THEOSIS — of becoming like the Godhead. So they created an organic planet, a petri-dish, a “school”, a “garden” where things can grow. Earth is an organic garden where physical bodies can grow — and hopefully house wonderful spirit-bodies that experience theosis and “eternal life”, that someday experience a resurrection when divine-evolution takes the next leap. So-called Judgement Day, really Decision Day, and the “End” of “Time,” are the end of existence bounded by imperfect bodies. Someday we will have perfect bodies that are not dense, but are real bodies, not the spirit-bodies we had in the pre-existence. We will have light-bodies, resurrected bodies — it brings to mind all the teachings both exoteric and esoteric regarding The Body of Light and Transfigured Body, etc.
We spirit children agreed to come down and go thru this growing process in this garden. We passed thru the veil into the physical realm to this dirty place. Gardens are so dirty. Muddy and gross with worms. But oh the life they yield up! Life is dirty until the physical becomes transfigured and merged with the divine. We knew there would be predators. We agreed to it. Although it has no consciousness, has no amazing human brain (most differentiated object in the universe) the plant kingdom “agreed” to help. So did the lesser animals such as livestock. They help meet our nutritional needs willingly. We made a covenant with them to absorb from their numbers only what we need. Many have broken that covenant by wasting food. I never let my children waste meat. I remind them the animal Kingdom agreed to work with us in this LIFE EATS LIFE LONGS FOR ITSELF system, so we do no dishonor that. We do waste plants sometimes and try to put it in a compost. Recycling.
Yes, there are predator vs. prey situations all over this planet. But Life does not prey on itself. It rather consumes and recycles the energy of lifeforms WITHIN itself. Perhaps we are all one big Gaia-organism, as some philosophers have considered.
Evil, the absence of Good, Spiritual Darkness, the absence of Light does work against us — against the LIFE EATS-AND-RECYCLES SYSTEM. It perverts our LIFE system into the Predator vs. Prey in which no recycling occurs, such as cultural bankruptcy, violent crime, and even mental abuse. This is the cesspool, the mud-pit you mentioned. Civilization does seem to be in a decline. But I’m not sure it’s “the End”.
The Christians in Iraq and Syria think this is the end of the world. Christians in Egypt are starting to believe “this is it,” too. I wonder if the Romans felt the same way during their “end” as the invaders and barbarians came in wave after wave.

BAR asks: Should We Take Creation Stories Literally?

My answer to that question is, YES. But ALSO we can take them figuratively and symbolically.  The creation stories are rich with numinous inspiring symbolisms, esoteric nuggets. But to some extent there was a literal creation. It’s a BOTH / AND spiritual question, my friends, not an EITHER / OR.

Just like the question, “Was Jesus an historical character, or was he a mythical-spiritual character used for wisdom-teaching,” — the answer is BOTH / AND. Yes, and YES.  Anyway, interesting articles this week (below). Check out Biblical Archaeology’s new streaming TV channel! Wonder if we can get it on our Roku….

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Bible History Daily
June 5, 2017

Should We Take Creation Stories Literally?

Finding multiple truths in Biblical myths

Were the creation stories in Genesis meant to be taken literally? Maybe not, says Biblical scholar Shawna Dolansky of Carleton University in Biblical Archaeology Review. Creation stories in Genesis were etiological, Dolansky and other scholars argue. That is, the creation stories in Genesis served to provide answers to why the world was the way it was, such as why people wear clothes and why women experience pain during childbirth.
In the free eBook Exploring Genesis: The Bible’s Ancient Traditions in Context, discover the cultural contexts for many of Israel’s earliest traditions. Explore Mesopotamian creation myths, Joseph’s relationship with Egyptian temple practices and three different takes on the location of Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham.

Download the Free eBook
In Case You Missed It

How the Serpent Became Satan

Adam, Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden

The serpent of Eden is portrayed as just that: a serpent. The story in Genesis 2–3 contains no hint that he embodies the devil, Satan or any other evil power. So where does the devil come into the details of Eden? In a guest post, Shawna Dolansky examines how the serpent became Satan. “The worldview of Jewish readers of Genesis 2–3 profoundly changed in the centuries since the story was first written,” writes Dolansky.
Biblical archaeology is a fascinating journey toward understanding human history, culture and religion. Let Biblical Archaeology Review be your guide. Subscribe to BAR and enjoy six lavishly-illustrated issues that are destined to become treasures in your personal reference library.

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In Case You Missed It

Daily Life in Ancient Israel

What was life like during the time of the Biblical Judges?

What was life like for the tribes of Israel in the time of the Biblical Judges, the period archaeologists call Iron Age I (1200–1000 B.C.E.)? The evidence for the early Israelite settlers of Canaan comes from two sources: archaeological survey and excavations. Much of the area of the central highlands, where most of the settlers of Canaan established their villages, was archaeologically surveyed in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Pre Marriage Counseling, Clergy Should Avoid Creating Life-time Religious Aversion

Spiritual Pastoral Counseling before MarriageEnjoyed the articles in this week’s CT Pastors clergy newsletter (link below), especially the Pre-Marital counseling section. So many of us originally become ordained to officiate a wedding, and there is much wisdom clergy can convey before the marriage!

Also very insightful (to me, at least) is the opening blurb how people get infected with a life-long aversion to the Bible, or to religion.  I have met people who are so burned from childhood experiences of religion being shoved down their throats that they have a terrible bad taste in their mouth to all things religious. As clergy, we must ever strive not to be the source of someone’s life-long bad taste to religion, scripture or spirituality! I think this is also why so many say “I’m spiritual, but not religion,” because they just don’t trust organized religion. Since our network here is alternative clergy, alternative spirituality, and thus non-mainstream, we probably encounter more “burned” or bad-taste-in-their-mouth people.


What is the Central Mystery of Christianity?

Inner Christianity: A must read for ordained ministersBesides ordaining ministers, Rabbis, and other clergy, our Seminary also runs an online Mystery School with many fun lessons. One lesson is based on the life-changing book,  Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition by Richard Smoley.

A current member just answered the Chapter 4 question, “What is the central mystery of Christianity?” as follows:

For one to enter into the Kingdom of God, one must step past the constraints of the “I” and understand that the “I” is ultimately the same in all of us.  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22) “God has only one Son. If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship, so the Sonship in its oneness transcends the sum of its parts.” …that there is an underlying unity of Being of which we are all part.