Seminary and Community

It’s been about five weeks since I decided to take the plunge and check out Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. And while I wasn’t exactly working on a whim, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Regular readers will know I was coming out of a period of intense questioning and feeling lost. And while I chose them for their connection with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, which is nearby, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the primary location for the seminary being in SecondLife, a virtual realm.

Could learning really happen there, or would it be like a chaotic chatroom with avatars? What about ritual? Would it feel like ritual if I weren’t physically experiencing it? And while I know that real community can be built online, would it really help me feel supported, and maybe help me find my way further out of the darkness I’ve been inhabiting? Would I end up with the same lost feeling I’ve been experiencing so intensely these last few months?

Well. Let me say… yes, yes, yes, and no. I haven’t felt so like I made the right spiritual choice since I found Diana’s Grove back in 2000.

I’ve wanted to write about this for weeks now, and even posted a few teasers on FB. But there’s so much to say, and I feel such a jumble of things (good things) that putting it out in an orderly fashion is a challenge. But here are some highlights:

  • The process of applying and then speaking with people about my spiritual curriculum vitae put me back in touch with many of the women I’ve shared spiritual space with in the past. That has been an amazing experience of reconnection and love in and of itself. I hadn’t necessarily lost touch with them, but communication hadn’t been active. It is now. And that’s a good thing.
  • Writing up that CV reminded me just how much work I’ve done, how important priestessing is, and how I’ve been doing it anyway in my current position, without really meaning to. When I remembered and got more intentional, things shifted in a very real, very positive way.
  • Because of the SecondLife component, I’m having a noob experience which is a humbling and awesome reminder of how the people I work with on a daily basis often feel when they come back to school.
  • The classes (and thus far, I’ve only experienced first year classes) have far exceeded my expectations. This is the real deal, the teachers are professionals and the work the seminary is doing is amazing, needed and GOOD work.
  • I’m in the process of applying to the graduate program at WSTS. I have also put forth that I would really love to use my professional knowledge and experience to help the seminary, and I’m looking forward to seeing that come to fruition.
  • For the first time in a very long time, I’m starting to feel like I’m becoming part of a larger community. I am really looking forward to visiting Washington next month, when I will have a chance to physically meet many people I’ve only met virtually to date.
  • I’m embarking on a second initiatory journey as well, and I think I’m getting a sense of who it will be with. It involves a return to my Celtic roots AND the occasional visit to Missouri, a state that hosted a huge amount of spiritual and personal growth for me, a state that is still to this day represented on my personal altar.
  • I am back in the process of regular spiritual practice, and I’m sharing it with my daughter. It is a beautiful thing.

And there’s so much more, but this is a quick update, and one I’m happy to share.

I am grateful, deeply grateful, to all the twists and turns that have brought me to here. The journey of this life is truly a rich and magickal one. I am grateful for each of you reading this, and for those who don’t read but have still in some way deeply touched my spiritual experience.

I’m looking forward to more writing here, more active reflection on what I’m doing. I expect this will especially happen if/when I get accepted into the graduate program and certainly when I start my initiatory work. I hope my spiritual brothers and sisters will continue to follow along with me here, to engage in conversation and my spiritual life, even if it’s from a distance.

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