Rev. Terry Riley

Rev. Terry Riley
Keeping the Faith in the Biblebelt

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mundane/Spiritual Life

There seems to be a mental block with new people coming into the Craft, that I've noticed in the past recent years. They have a difficult time distinguishing between their mundane life and their spiritual life. I heard them rationalize and make excuses as to why they can't attend Ritual, classes, Sabbats, or even find the time to do their own; because of their mundane job, family opinions, social status, stress that ordinary life puts in front of us, etc.... I usually let these slide without pushing them to grow beyond their limitation, unless they choose to. Then when they come to me for counseling, asking why they are in stagnation on their spiritual path, I explain it's because they see their mundane and spiritual lives as separate.
Most people are programmed that they have to fit their spiritual life around their mundane life and find time for it. The mundane then has priority over their Spiritual Path. What they haven't assimilated into their consciousness is the concept that "we are not physical beings searching for spiritual experiences; but rather, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience."
There is a difference between the reason you do something and the intent of why your doing something. You may have a job and go to it every day. The reason most people work a job is for the paycheck, the money. But if they looked at the job, with the intent of it being a spiritual experience, then the money would be a secondary gift from the experience. It doesn't matter whether your a butcher, baker, police officer, etc... it is all in how you perceive yourself. Therefore, are you a butcher, baker, police officer, who happens to be pagan, or are you a Pagan who happens to be a butcher, baker, police officer, etc... If you consider yourself as the mundane label first, then you have the perception that the mundane and spiritual worlds are separate. That the message your subconscious receives. If you put your spiritual path first then the two world are one. Hence the magical axiom of the great Magus Jesus, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you. "
We all have heard the old adage, "I'll believe it when I see it." Well in walking a Spiritual Path the magic works right the opposite: "When you believe it, That's when you'll see it!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Reflections and Gratitude

  As I sit back and look upon this year, I have much to be thankful for. In January, I came off a year's sabbatical and jumped back in to running the Church. One of our achievements that I'm most proud of is the SDCW - ATC's, Adopt a Highway Program. This one program has gained more respect for our Faith, in the Jonesboro area, and we have gotten a lot of positive response.
  The second accomplishment I'm most proud of this year is the Publishing of my book, released in March. It is doing quite well and still selling. The day I got my first copy I just sat and stared at it for an hour. 5 years writing it and now, it was a dream come true.
  I also have the pleasure of attending 12 Festivals this year, hosting three of them. For the first time in 18 years I finally got to attend some Festivals I'd been trying to get to.
  Thirdly, membership in the Church has grown and a lot of young people are now involved and that makes my heart swell with pride.
  I'm also proud to see two more ATC affiliated Churches pop up in our area. Which tells me that Pagan Churches are very much needed and in this new era of Paganism, they are the best way to serve the larger pagan Community.
  So yes, even though I've had my share of negative situations and problems this year, For me 2011 has been a wonderful "Ride" in this life walk and I shall always remember it with cherished memories.
  I'm also thankful for all the wonderful Wiccan/Pagan folk in my life. My spiritual family, over the years, has become my strength and my foundation and I love them dearly. They are my life.
  Happy Yule and Blessed Be!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winterfest Our Yule Celebration

  Last week we hosted our Yule Festival at Crowley Ridge State park in Walcot AR. Not just our Church;but two other ATC affiliate Churches as well. We had a wonderful time. The best part of this combined effort was that we had 16 children there. Just about all of them call me PaPa Terry; because I performed their Wiccanings and have known them all their lives. It does this old Druid's heart well to see that our Traditions and the Old Ways are been passed on to the next generation. Blessed Be to all of you and a very Happy Yule this season.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wiccan/Pagan Youth

  After being a Wiccan Priest for nineteen years, I have noticed that there is an increase of young people coming into the Craft. In our Church we have many new people between the ages of 16 to 20. These kids are excited and looking for teachers. They like talking to me because I'm "the old man"; but what they really need is Priests and Priestesses closer to their age that would qualify as Youth Ministers. Now I know this is a big responsibly for a lot of Wiccans/Pagans. Since there aren't many Pagan Churches I know of that can have Full-Time Clergy. This would mean that these Ministers would have to be committed to working at least 2 to 3 times a week with these kids. The reason I say that is because they are at my house at least that many times a week wanting to talk, ask questions, and just hang out. Now you could say I don't have to let them come over that often; but at least if their seeking information from a Wiccan/Pagan, their not out doing drugs or running the streets getting onto trouble.
  That's why we are going to start a Wicca/Pagan Youth Center at the Southern Delta Church of Wicca - ATC. When we get our building built, which is underway now, We're going to have place where the local teens can come and hang out and get the information they're wanting and needing. I've already approached several of the kids with the idea and their all for it. So hopefully by next Summer we'll have the program in place here in Lake City, Ar.
Blessed Be!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spiritual Submission

"If I do not actively engage in ritual and meditation, and worship. my Gods in Spirit and truth, I cannot very well expect to enter into higher states of awareness or prophetic levels of consciousness. If I practice to view in daily living, there shall be no personal deficiency. All there will be is Divine labor to do, and let the will of the Gods do what they must do, and I cooperate completely.
  let it be said clearly that the path is about Self-transcendence; service to others and service to the Gods. In the mist of service to others and the Gods, who has time to become self-conscious? If at any time I find myself to self-conscious, then perhaps I am to self-centered in that moment and serving my self rather than serving my Gods in that situation. I have found this always to be true."
(Gnostic Writings)