Speaker: Sandy Souder, October 25, 2015

Good Morning Beloved!

A cab driver picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won’t stop staring at her.
She asks him why he is staring and he replies, “I have a question to ask you but I don’t want to offend you.”

She answers: “My dear son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.”

“Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.”
She responds, “Well, let’s see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2 you must be a Catholic.”

The cab driver is very excited and says, “Yes, I am single and I’m Catholic too!”

The nun says, “OK, pull into the next alley.” He does and the nun fulfills his fantasy.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

“My dear child.” said the nun, “Why are you crying?”

“Forgive me sister, but I have sinned. I lied, I must confess, I’m married and a I’m a Baptist.”

The nun says, “That’s OK, I am on the way to a Halloween party, and my name is Steve.”

Today we are starting a series of occasional looks into the different cultures and religions that are sharing our space on this planet. It is my intention to bring a variety of speakers from these different cultures to add to our knowledge of their culture. After all, Charles Fillmore looked to the Spiritual Cultures of the world as he forged, with his wife, what now stands as the foundation principles of Unity.
Our first encounter with the different cultures is appropriate for this time of year, because some of the traditions that we celebrate in these next few months come from what history has labeled Paganism.

For example, Trick or Treating – All Souls Day in England where people gave out [asties in exchange for prayers for dead relatives.

Masks and Customes from the ancient Celts who would use them to avoid being recognized by ghosts.
Our Jack O’Lanterns come from the Middle Ages where turnips and potatoes were carved to ward off evil spirits.

And the colors of orange and black come from pagan harvest celebrations symbolizing crops and the death of summer.

If we look a little further on the calendar, A lot of Christmas decorations and Christmas trees were a pagan tradition. Candy canes and holly were used to decorate Pagan temples back in the times of ancient Greece. Giving gifts, the yule log… all pagan

And Easter was named after the Norse Goddess Ostara. The food she ate to stay immortal was egg and the animal she was associated with was a rabbit. Easter egg hunts that are held by many is an old pagan tradition.

There are many more similarities taken from the so called pagan cults of early times. Let’s hear more about it from Paula.

Basic Beliefs of Wicca:

Coven – A gathering of people of like beliefs. Similar to a church or fellowship.

Magic or a Spell – An intense mental focus of one’s will. This can be carried out in a silent payer/meditation and through rhythmic chanting alone or in a group.

This is basically a different way of saying affirmative prayer.

While not exclusive to every single tradition, the following are some of the core tenets found in most Wiccan systems:

· The Divine is present in nature, and so nature should be honored and respected. The Divine is present in all of us. We are all sacred beings, and interaction with the goddesses or gods is not limited just to the priesthood

· The idea of karma cosmic payback system is echoed in the Law of Threefold Return.

The law of threefold return, speaks to the belief of the energy in the form of thoughts, actions, or inaction one puts out – will be repaid – in this or another life time. Thus “Harm none, do what you will”

This is akin to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

· In Wicca, Holidays are based on the turning of the earth and the cycle of the seasons. This is often referred to as the wheel of the year. The wheel has 8 spokes –

There are eight major Sabbats that are celebrated.

And there are rituals for the different phases of the moon. Different phases relate to the amount any type of energy believed to be available. Thus increasing the power of a spell,

· Respect the beliefs of others. There’s no Recruiting Club in Wicca, it is considered – to be doing harm -if a believer of witchcraft were to try to convert another person. Wiccan groups recognize that each individual must find their spiritual path on their own, without coercion.


February 2 – Valentines Day

IMBOLC –Imbolc is considered a traditional time for rededication and pledges for the coming year.

Around March 21

SPRING EQUINOX / OSTARA –Ostara is celebrated on the spring equinox.

May 1

BELTANE – Is a celebration of fertility:, livestock and crops and this is where the maypole dancing.

June 22

SUMMER SOLSTICE / MID-SUMMER / LITHA – Litha is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. – Night and day are equal. Sunlight begins to diminish.

August 1

LUGHNASADH / LAMMAS – Lughnasadh It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals which symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest.

September 21

Autumn EQUINOX / MABON –It is celebrated on the Autumnal Equinox,

this holiday is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share our resources

October 31

SAMHAIN – Samhain is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the Sabbats’. It is generally observed on October 31st. Samhain is considered by most Wiccans as a celebration of death and of the dead, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. Samhain as the Pagan New Year

During the time between Samhain and Winter Solstice – is a time of reflection of the past year and to plan for the coming one.

It is a time many use to create a Yule list of what they hope to accomplish in the new year.

December 22

WINTER SOLSTICE / YULE – this holiday is for the rebirth of the Great Sun God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. This again is a time when night and day are equal and then sunlight begins to grow.