Winter Solstice Light in a Dark World

 “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” — Chinese Proverb

When we first went online in 1999 we were the first alternative interfaith seminary (and mystery school) to work in the cyber realm. Our site was the only place esoteric and alternative “believers” could come to become ordained, get a minister license, and start their own ministries immediately. The church/seminary website did not have ANY security, no 12- hour malware scans like we must pay for now, no Google blacklisting threat — Google didn’t exist when we first went online, actually! — no porn site spamming onslaughts with tens of thousands of spam comments coming from overseas. No blogs existed then, either, come to think of it.

In the days before cyber warfare our website focused not on safety and defense but on simply getting the word out. We were among the pioneers in building the online spiritual community, many of our forum members were original contributors on places like Beliefnet.  We offered a service — minister ordination — to people who had alternative spiritual beliefs and to mainstream believers who had not time or money to sit thru four years of seminary just to be able to perform a wedding. Many ordinands thus came (and still come) to us simply to become an ordained minister in order to officiate a wedding for a family member or close friend. Many others want minister ordination to found their own church, non-profit organization,  or alternative spiritual healing practice, or to do spiritual teaching and lecturing.

From our beginning in 1987 our mission has been to get clergy the credentials they need so that people in every county of every state can find alternative, multi-faith or interfaith ministers to help them along life’s milestones and find a spiritual home.

Our Theological Seminary also has the authority to grant the Doctor of Divinity, Theology, PhD in Religion or PhD in Metaphysics and other religious degrees to help our clergy serve their communities better by reassuring their clients and parishioners they are not a flake or a fake. People deserve to have clergy they can trust not to judge them, trust not to deny services to them because they are not a member of their church, or their church does not “approve” of their flavor of religious beliefs.

People deserve non-denominational clergy who are not brainwashed in the “traditional” stuffy four-year seminaries. Alternatives to mainstream clergy are in high demand and that’s why our ministers and rabbis prove time and again as they perform weddings, funerals, work as hospital and prison chaplains and bring spiritual healing. Our clergy have already gained knowledge by field experience, by actually laboring in the field of spirituality and religion. They have studied and worked independently, gaining credit for so-called life experience as they do hands on labor working unnoticed, guiding, counseling and ministering to countless people-in-need.

The darkness comes around every now and then — every year like clockwork in the case of our solstices and equinoxes! — and tries to crowd out the light. In the past month our seminary and church’s 13 year old (admittedly clunky) website got attacked by everything from anti-semitic Turkish hackers to black-hat SEO campaigns waged by competitors. So just like the solstice, we are hoping for the light to shine and dispel this darkness.  Many people get depressed this time of year, biologically assisted by the shortness of light exposure each day.

Darkness psychologically affects us, brings us down. We love it when Nature turns on the lights with the Winter Solstice and all the world’s religions/cultures have created holidays for that event. Earth turns the corner this year and the days begin getting longer on December 21, 2012 at 6:12 a.m. Eastern Time, USA. I don’t think there will be doomsday that day, as some claim the Mayan calendar predicted. Now that would really be depressing…  I need to cheer up and “count” my lucky “stars.”

Beliefnet.com has a whole section on the Winter Solstice, the Return of the Light, in all the faiths of the world. Their inspiring words have cheered me up this day as I battle it out with search engine rank damage, malware recovery and anti-hacking security updates. As I told our alumni today on our two forums, part of me longs for the days when we were just a “correspondence school” doing everything with magazine ads and snail mail. Magazine ads, what are those? Hee hee.

Here’s some inspiration from Beliefnet.com:

Let It Shine

The holidays mark a time of joy and celebration, but also a time of long, dark days. May this collection of quotes inspire you to see the light.

Light above you.
Light below you.
Light all around you.
Light within you.

“Winter is the time of love and of taking the light within.” –Terry Lynn Taylor

 “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” – Victor Hugo

 

Published by

Katia

Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at NorthernWay.org.

5 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Light in a Dark World”

  1. While I know that ETS NEVER solicits contributions, I have been notified by a corporate donor that a matching contribution will be made for each contribution of over $5.00 made to ETS before December 25, up to a combined limit of $500.00. This is the equivalent of a $25.00 contribution to ETS being worth $50.00. That could go far to combatting the cyber-attacks and we do not want the corporate contribution to go elsewhere. For those interested, I am sure the site administrator will provide a contribution link. I cannot envision a more worthwhile donation. We definitely do not want the donor to take their donation elsewhere, so please consider donating something over five dollars to the seminary’s payPal account.

  2. Glad to see that your light is still out there.

    My time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley was rough in itself. In addtion, it was during my 2nd astrological Saturn return. Easter 2005 I was in a terrible mood; injured, literally abandoned by everyone.
    I was so angry I was about to rip the Orthodox icons off my walls. Then the black Benedictine cross I have caught my attention.
    For an instant, which is all a finite being could tolerate, I was given the experience what Christ felt. Voluntarily bearting the hurt, fear, and loneliness of all earthly beings while going through the very human experience of forsakenness.
    I staggered back, stunned. Then I saw a slight smile on the face of that cross and heard “it’s worth it, you know.”
    The way out is through.

  3. Dear most Esteemed Bishop, do not let these evil doers cause you to lose faith in the wonderful school you created.When I started studying the Divine Feminine,Your site was such a benefit and a blessing.I am Jewish with a Catholic background-A Sephardic Jew.I am Esoteric and believe in what you teach about the Goddess/Mother God in Judeo Christian faith.I have books by Margaret Starbird as well.I believe in the Divine Couple as well.

    Both Yahweh and Asherah and Joshua and MIriam of Magdala.Thank you for what you ae doing and Remember that the LORD GOD is a shield and a buckler along with His Wife.God/Goddess bless you LIeren Malka ELFS/NW-Northern Way.

  4. It can certainly be hard to find words when the adversary appears to be so very overwhelming.
    But, when people band together to help, anything can be overcome.
    Envision yourself as already having passed through this door and leaving this problem behind and solved. In your mind, walk through that door and close it behind you on the darkness and walk forward in renewed light.

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