Interfaith

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There was a time in my life when I was considering going back to college for a degree in Interfaith ministry, but then my computer quit and I needed a new one, so the college money was gone. Since then I have realized that degrees mean more in the eyes of the outer appearance than the inner.

Now wait! I don’t mean to slur those who have degrees! You have earned them after all! But there is a point I am making here, just to be clear. Before there were degrees and certifications, there was somebody who had to learn the knowledge to put into creating those degrees, so knowledge does not come just from a temporal source. Degrees and certifications in and of themselves do not make one wise. Practical experience guides wisdom.

My path toward a shamanic practice has been eclectic at best. Following my inner compass from one step to the next has brought me to where I am today. In 1987 I answered an imperative inner call to pursue the Gurdjieff work, and met the dear soul who gave me what I needed to step on to the path of awakening from the sleep of life. She passed young, and my inner call led me back to college just to prove to myself that I had some intelligence. That connection led to another connection, to another connection, and I met Donald Petacchi in 1995, the Gurdjieff mentor who taught me how the Laws of Three and Seven flow in the Enneagram.

A few more years pass, time out to raise a child, explore Reiki, and learn that the so-called New Age groups I met did not have the substance I sought. There was just too much emphasis on walking the path of light by people who were not facing their own inner darkness. There had to be a balance, I thought, between that strange brand of narcissism and self-deception.

I met Alan in 2010. We had a lot in common and it was a natural partnership to step into. Alan had been a shaman’s apprentice, and he got me started working with the Elements. I capitalize that word for a reason. Most modern people do not realize that the natural world – the world of Great Nature that surrounds us and nurtures us – has conscious life. The aboriginal peoples of all lands recognized that the world is alive. We can know this if we are listening. The Earth talks to us. The Waters talk to us. The Fire talks to us. The Wind talks to us. Just stand where you are for a moment and just for that moment suspend any preconceptions you have that this is not real, and then listen, listen to what is real and to what your soul knows and can teach you if you listen.

Upon Alan’s advice I developed a relationship with Water. It was easy for me, because behind our home a Creek flows. I have learned a lot from this Creek and the Wise One who oversees it. I call her Creek Woman in the fashion of the aboriginal, indigenous Americans who lived on this land before colonization. I also call her an Angel. My husband had me ask her once if she belonged to the class of Elohim who assisted God in making the world. She said, “Yes.”

My intention in writing today is to let you know, if you don’t already, that your inner compass is the guiding light in following your soul purpose. Just because I didn’t know where I was going didn’t mean I failed to get where I was supposed to be. Through my Spirit guide Creek Woman, I met the Norns. Through the Norns, I met Hela. Through Hela, I met Loki, Odin, Heimdall, Thor, Freyja, and the great World Tree, Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life of the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples.

I used to think I had to be this or that, that to follow a pre-Christian path I had to no longer label myself Christian. But at my age, I have realized I can be this AND that. There need not be either/or. This and That makes me happier, and I can honor all I have learned from the way my life has unfolded. I have taken Jesus’ great teaching of forgiveness and internalized it, freeing me to move on to a new teaching: the Way of Yggdrasil. I am content with the path unfolding before me. “Not all who wander are lost.” I wonder as I wander, and that is the way I like it.

Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

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