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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Pilgrimage Statistics

Consecutive Days Riding: 138                            Consecutive Days Blogging: 120

Today’s Mileage: 10                                             Total Trip Mileage: 968

Tarot Card "The Universe"

When I started this pilgrimage journey I expected that I would experience a fair degree of diversity as part of my journey. Yesterday we celebrated an important holiday for most Muslims commemorating the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.  Tomorrow we will talk about a significant holiday for the Hindu faith but sandwiched between these holidays we are going to visit a pilgrimage site representing a spiritual movement which four a time had gained prominence and notoriety in Western societies.

We are visiting the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, located 30 miles Northeast of Orlando.  The camp makes up a small town by the same name.  The history of the camp highlights many of the most important features of Spiritualist beliefs.   It was the brainchild of George Colby a young man from New York who was told during a séance that he would someday be instrumental in founding a spiritualist community in South.  Reported in 1875 Colby was led through the wilderness of Central Florida by his “spirit guide” Seneca to an area with a lake and surround hills.  He homesteaded the land and in 1890 deeded it to the newly incorporated Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association.   Colby was reported to have TB; however, a small spring located on his homestead provided the elixir that healed him.  Years later the county purchased additional acreage of the adjoining property with the goal of preserving sensitive environmental species and the historical significance of the area.

The Temple

The Cassadaga spiritualist community was formally established in 1894 as a community of residents who   “have chosen to share the community with like-minded people.”  A significant number of the camp’s residents are mediums who offer counseling from their homes.  The camp includes a temple, a healing center, a museum and various stores.  The town was added to the National Registry of Historical Places in 1991, and the camp meeting Association is the oldest active Spiritualist religious community in southeastern United States.  The camps webpage notes:  “Spiritualism has experienced a resent resurgence of interest with the recent new age movement and has attracted many people who are searching for better way of life and wish to empower themselves and take responsibility for their life.  Spiritualism holds something for everyone no matter what their religion or where they are on their spiritual path, the camp welcomes not only believers but the curious and the skeptical as well.”

The healing center

Prior to riding today I spent some time reading up on spiritualism.  It appears that the movement began in the middle 1800s when the Fox sisters reported being in contact with an entity that explained mysterious night time noises.  This spurred an interest in the idea of “mediumship” or contact with spirits.  The movement saw considerable growth in the late 1800s but spawned a great deal of skepticism within the scientific community.  Spiritualism was describes as having a main focus on promoting an individual’s personal experience with God, it recognizes all prophets that come to mankind throughout the ages, it is based upon the idea that we are all to form our own relationship with God to obtain guidance, also individual must accept responsibility for our actions.  Spiritualism believes in the survival of our personality after death in a spiritual form this provides the basis for mediumship.  Spiritualism believes that the nature of humankind is to be good not evil, they do not believe in sin and repentance only spiritual progression by natural law.

Spiritualists believe that our purpose for being here is to evolve spiritually and then use that to be of service to others as we continue to evolve.   Spiritualist also believe in what they call the expression of spirit which represents different ways in which people connect with the spiritual realm like different abilities that people have, these include:  the ideas of automatic writing, card reading (such as tarot cards) healing, séances (connection with a spirits and perhaps ancestors), spirit art (artwork either created by a spirit or with directions provided by the spirit) prosthetic dreams, and trance-mediumship (where a spirit takes over the person such as in channeling).

Sunrise at Spirit Pond!

Spiritualism seemed to have waned with the advent of science and the apparent fraudulent practices of some charlatans who wrap themselves in spiritualist clothing.  However recently there’s been a renewed interest in spiritualist practices and ideas in what is now called “New Age” spirituality.  I have several friends who follow many of the tenets of Spiritualism, they are happy adjusted loving parents, friends and citizens.  I will leave you with a Spiritualist prayer for healing:

      I ask the Great Unseen Healing Force

     To help both present and absent ones

     Who are in need of help

     And to restore them to perfect health.

     I put my trust

     In the love and power of God.

 Tomorrow we celebrate a joyful and colorful Hindu holiday… see you then!

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Pilgrimage Statistics

 Consecutive Days Riding:  121                                              Days Blogged: 103

New Mileage: 4                                                                 Total Trip Mileage: 869

I find myself marveling at the multitude of places in which we find examples of spiritual diversity.  I’ve often said if we simply open our eyes we will discover the amazing diversity that is all about us.

An Intimate Conversation!

Some would be troubled!

I pride myself on my ability to turn a 10-20 minute walk around the block into a series of spiritual poems, or a stroll along the river into a soul searching experience.  Yesterday evening I was visiting my Facebook page to answer messages from new members to my widening circle.  I started to peruse a site that I had joined entitled HEALING.  I looked through the list of members and was drawn to the images they posted. The majority used portrait photos, a few used the nondescript outline of a human form.  Others choose a vast array of symbolic images including planets, angels, artwork, and various religious symbols. Some choose portraits of animals, or scenes from nature.  I was struck by the diversity and the symbolism.

Opposites as One!

 I’ve spoken to the fact that pilgrimage journeys are most often undertaken to a special or sacred place.  Other pilgrimage journeys are undertaken at specific times of the year or important times in a person’s life.  But pilgrimages are also journeys that can be undertaken to seek answers or certain experiences.   I would propose that cruising Facebook photo’s can represent just such a “minor” pilgrimage, if the goal is to find diverse expressions of spiritual symbolism.

Deep Freeze Beauty!

What is the purpose behind or reason for so much diversity in images?  It seems to me that the image we use maybe functional in several ways.  First, the use of our photo may speak to a level of comfort with ourselves and an effort to be open and “up front” about who we are.  The use of a portrait photo may be less troubling then the effort needed to identify a specific “important” spiritual belief. Some portraits may be chosen to advertise a person’s beauty, or convey a sense of mystery or intrigue.  The use of a generic human form (the non-photo) may speak to a sense of caution or a need for safety. 

Can't Help But Smile!

What of the use of symbols?  I suspect these may function like flags, they advertise an important component of a person’s belief system.  Some people may feel comfortable elevating one feature of their identity or belief system to the forefront; others may be unwilling and/or unable to do so.  These symbolic images may speak to the special significance of angels, particular deities, exercises like yoga, or nature for an individual.  They may be “flown” like a banner to advertise an interest in meeting or connecting with “kindred souls.”

The quick review of this group’s site filled me with a sense of awe and wonder, like walking through a flower garden for the first time.  It acted as a reminder of the diversity of ideas, beliefs and expressions in the world.  Each of these images represents a mystery, an individual spiritual journey, a new and different path.  By sharing and reaching out we widen our circle and encourage others to step forward and join the effort to find and promote spiritual connectedness.

In time for Valentines Day!

Tomorrow we will visit the first of several pilgrimage sites in the Orlando area. I have classified it as a Unique Inspirational Site!  What does that mean?  Check out tomorrows posting.

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Pilgrimage Statistics

Consecutive Days Riding:  13                            Consecutive Days Blogging: 14

Today’s Mileage:  10                                          Total Trip Mileage: 132

 stage4

     I’d like to start off by thanking everyone who visited the Pilgrimage Site yesterday.  The number of visits far exceeded the level of any previous day.  I hope your visit was rewarding!  As we head north out of Key Largo we are traveling up the center of the Key which puts us some distance from the beach.  As such I figured this might be a good day to touch on a topic I was unable to work into the earlier postings. 

n of k Largo1

     I had an interesting interaction with one of my students who is writing a paper about my Blog for her Journalism class.  I showed her the Pilgrim’s Symbol (see tab at the top of the page) and told her there was obvious symbolism, subtle symbolism and some very esoteric symbolism embedded in the image.  She pointed to an area and said “Yeah I see  the Muslim symbol!”  I saw what she meant, however that was not what I intended it to be.  She quickly responded “Oh I’m sorry!”  I told her there was no need to apologize. I expect people to see things in the image that I do not see. 

SP SYMBOL-col2b   

  This is the power of symbolism.  No matter how much you attempt to make something clear and concise, what another person sees might be very different from what you intended.  I created the image and loaded it with various levels of symbolism.  I’m sure others will discover things in the image which were not part of my plan.

     There are religions that make heavy use of symbols or icons and those that make very little use of symbols and in fact may view them with suspicion.  This leaves me with the question: when does a symbol or icon become an idol?  I suspect that it is not the characteristics of the image that determine the answer, but the viewpoint and beliefs of the viewer.

     Perhaps because I was raised as a Catholic and surrounded by statues, the stations of the cross and of course the stained glass windows that often abound with symbols of faith, I am comfortable with symbols. I see them playing an important role in the integration of an individual’s or group’s belief system. They can be teaching tools or exercises for personal healing.

     Symbols are an important remnant of human’s pre-literate history. To the masses of illiterate people, symbols were still the most powerful way of transferring concepts of dogma.  A symbol is worth a thousand words. In addition, as noted by Dan Brown (“Da Vinci Code,” “Lost Symbol”), symbols played a role in conveying secrets, and acted as maps to hidden rituals.

     My symbolic image was not created to convey any sense of dogma or absolute truth. Certainly it does not include any hidden or secret meaning. It is my personal crest representative of my world view and philosophy.  The symbolism speaks to concepts I currently embrace or have embraced in my past. 

     Quite obviously, the figure in the reclined position with the wheel at it’s feet is symbolic of my virtual journey as a stationary pilgrim.  The other symbols speak to ideas and beliefs that guide and direct this journey forward down the road. Don’t apologize for anything you see or don’t see in the image.  I suggest you approach it as you would any personal journey. Let meaning unfold for you as a process of discovery.

sunset from card sound by kenalub

A special thanks to the photographers associated with Panramio for the beautiful scenes from along the roadside.

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