Letter from Cressida Pryor
June 20, 2016
FOI Summer Solstice Letter 2016
As ever the Summer Solstice has crept up on me with little time to spare...a reminder that this time with long days is often filled with trips away and other busy-ness.
I have just returned from a week on the sacred isle of Iona...my third full week there in as many years.
Iona is a beacon of Celtic spirituality and has been for over fifteen hundred years.
On one day the community organise a pilgrimage around the island...with songs, prayers, poems and reflections as we progress on from each significant place. Early on we stopped at the ruined ancient nunnery...the place of women on the island has always been a challenge given the early patriarchy of the Christian church. This is a special place, open to the elements with the ancient burial memorial slabs lying side by side in sisterly companionship; their names now lost to us. We were asked to proclaim out loud the names of women who had guided us on our own spiritual journey...I named Olivia.
Further on we approached the western oceanic beach; pebbly and strewn with seaweed on the far shore running down to fine sand and blue, blue sea...again we had a task; to throw a pebble to the waves to symbolically jettison what we needed to let go of and then with fresh capacity pick up a new pebble of dedication to the task of our refreshed onward journey.
As I stood by the ocean I became aware of all the negative judgments I still hold of Christianity and by default most Christians...I rejected my home faith as a teenager, not least through its patriarchy, it’s concept of original sin and the ultimate side step from responsibility; vicarious atonement. However what I have realised recently is that things have moved on and many liberal Christian theologians also now reject these ‘derived dogmas’ born from the early church’s need to control outspoken mystics, women and, in their terms then, heretics.
I threw this negativity and judgment from my teenage head into the ocean. Holding onto it curdles the stomach and if I don’t want to be judged for my faith and beliefs I need to practice what I preach. I still wouldn’t call myself a Christian but acknowledge the wise template Christ’s life has left for living a life of peace and equality.
To replace it I picked up a beautiful rounded pebble representing the ‘fullness of being’ that is also now echoed in the Summer Solstice’s exuberance. Fullness of being opens wide our hearts; a soft gaze that can bear the paradox of the divine mother at our core but there too with all that is beyond gender; love, truth and beauty.
May Life bring you now into your Fullness of Being; in tune with the Grace of Isis, the Angels of Peace and Gratitude for All that is.
With blessings, Cressida.
FOI Letters & Correspondence
(With thanks as always to Cressida for sharing her seasonal letters.)
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