Do you feel alone, like no one understands, rejected by family and friends, and as if there is no one else in the world like you? Have you felt this way for so long that you no longer share feelings, ideas, and dreams with others, much less the deeper more private beliefs? Take a deep breath because you are not alone. Many others feel this way, including myself.
I read an article recently quoting a Lakota elder who was expressing his dismay that so many of his people were selling feathers and sacred ceremonies to non-native peoples. But I garnered a deeper meaning from his words. In the article he suggested that while he understands that people are just looking for a connection, common ground or way to share spiritual experiences, he feels everyone should find their individual roots and ancestry for that connection and common ground.
I agree, but only to a point. I personally am half Irish, one-fourth Scottish and one-fourth German. My maternal grandparents remembered and honored the old Celtic ways, but the rest of my family did not (including my mother-their daughter). I was born with that deep, other-worldly knowing, but because my entire family had been in America for so long and so rigidly influenced by the Puritan Christian ways, the only person who didn’t make fun of me or think I was crazy was my maternal grandfather. I have searched my whole life for others who would even consider what I felt and believed might be true and real. Sadly, I have only found a very few and all but two have been so profoundly influenced by some formal organized group that they thought my beliefs were wrong because I didn’t follow their prescribed rituals, readings and ways of living in general.
The old Celtic/Druid ways are very similar to Native American ways. There are obvious differences in names of spirits, Gods, Goddesses and ceremonies; but the deeper meanings and desired outcomes are much alike. However, Natives really don’t trust Anglo-saxons. Honestly, I don’t blame them, the mistrust they have is earned and is deserved. Then there is the issue that most Celtic/Druid ways have been invaded and polluted with Christian undertones or is believed to be witch craft.And before you hang me or burn me at the stake, I have deep Christian ties, I believe in witch craft and know the two are not mutually exclusive.
So, this leaves me as a Lone Wolf. My personal spirituality is eclectic and includes spiritual longings from many belief systems and practices. Over the course of my life I have developed the gut instinct that no one way is the only way, that all spiritual practices have much truth. I also have learned the hard way that many religions are structured to hold souls hostage through guilt and fear. Or they are social clubs who pull you in with the promise of moral support and gatherings of like minded people.
Sometimes this is lonely, but at the end of the day, I can look myself in the mirror, I can be honest with all the Spirits I pray to, including the Great Spirit of all. When I commune with the spirits, I have no problem admitting to my faults or being open when I am thinking or feeling anything that would be considered by most as ‘not spiritual’. I know I don’t have everything figured out, yet, I also know when I cross over, everything will be explained to me without any insults or condemnation. I have made peace with the Spirits, my soul is content.