Posted in Uncategorized

Order of Melchizedek

Reclaiming the Ancient and Secret Tradition of Christian Magic

 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest  according to the Order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 5: 7-10

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Ever since I was a little girl, I knew magic was real. Samantha Stevens was my hero and I knew it was my mission to grow up and be just like her – smart, sassy, independent, a little bit sneaky, a devoted wife and mother, active in my own creative endeavors, and magic.  Like Samantha, I knew that life was a little boring without a splash of magic.  Magic made the mundane interesting and gave color to the drab.

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Samantha was just the beginning. As I grew up, I found myself drawn to the mystical and magical – the rituals, smells, and bells of the Catholic Church in which I was raised, fairytales of Fairy Godmothers, witches and warlocks, the tales of King Arthur and Morgan LeFay, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, the gothic classics of Shelley, Stoker, Wilke, Bronte and Hawthorne; the music of Stevie Nicks, Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Practical Magic, Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, and most recently, The OA.

All of this became inspiration and fodder for my own mystical quest. Specifically, to locate and then harness the magic that I knew dwelled within me – the magic that I also knew existed within every human being, if we would only take the time to find it and overcome the socialization that has caused us to fear our magic – based mostly on the ecclesial ban condemning magic as “the work of the devil.”

The great irony is that it was not in Wicca, Neo-Paganism, neo-Shamanism, the reclamation of Native American practices, or even in the Golden Dawn or the Goddess movement that I found my magic. Instead, it was right there in the depths of the Catholic Christian tradition in which I was raised.  It was right there in the person of Jesus and in his most devoted disciple, co-minister and beloved partner, Mary Magdalene that I found my magic.

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This is not the magic that turns bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, neither is it the magic of doing spells for the sake of “getting what we want.” Instead, this is the magic that arises naturally out of each and every one of us when we remember our Oneness with the Divine and offer ourselves in service to the Divine mission of Love. This is the magic that empowered Jesus to feed the hungry, give sight to the blind, heal the sick and set captives free. It is the magic that allowed Mary Magdalene to bear witness to the risen Christ.  Not everyone will be able to walk on water or raise another from the dead(because if it isn’t in our Soul’s purpose, these skills will elude us), but each, in their own unique giftedness will be able to perform miracles in their mission of being and bringing Love into the world.

This is the magic that was embodied in Jesus, fulfilled in Mary Magdalene and which has been part of the Christian tradition since its inception. This is also the magic that has been rejected, demonized and condemned since the Christian movement sold out to patriarchy.  Millions of women and men have died at the hands of the Institution for practicing the very arts that Jesus himself modeled and then taught his disciples.  The witch hunt continues as the Catholic Church issued its prohibition against Reiki (2009), a form of hands-on-healing similar in form and effect to what Jesus himself practiced.

My mission with the Order of Melchizedek is to restore the magic of the Christian tradition to its rightful place – in the hands of the women and men who are called to fulfill Jesus’ mission of being Love in the world and who feel called to complete this mission with the support of rituals and practices that support their journey of and on behalf of Love.

Union is the goal of true magic – union with the Divine, union within ourselves, union with each other and union with all of creation. The Order of Melchizedek provides the tools and resources to support you in experiencing this Union.  Here is where the miracles and magic happen!

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Lauri Ann Lumby, High Priestess of the Order of Melchizedek

 

Click HERE too learn more about the Order of Melchizedek.

Posted in church, Raised Catholic

Where Have All the Catholics Gone? Part II

Today’s blog continues the discussion about the 42.7 million people who still identify themselves as Catholic, yet no longer participate in the Church.  Today’s discussion explores where they might be and includes those who were raised Catholic but no longer identify themselves as such.  PS  I’m probably going to get a little “up in my ego” on this one……so I acknowledge this ahead of time.  I’m still human afterall.  🙂 

Why They Left and Where They Went

The last two blogs explored the why’s of the Catholic exodus:  change in priest, Church teachings, bad liturgy, sex abuse scandals, told they weren’t welcome, etc.  Today I will share with you my theories on where the Catholics went.

Evangelical, Congregational and Unitarian Churches

It has been my observation that when Catholics leave, they don’t normally trade Catholicism for something that looks similar such as Anglican, Lutheran or Methodist.  While I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, Catholics who are liturgy inclined, are more likely to seek out a worship experience different from what they have known.  For those who are in search of vibrant worship, uplifting music, motivational preaching and who want to know more about scripture, they might find themselves drawn to Evangelical and Non-Denominational Christian churches.  The Congregational Churches draw the Catholics looking for community.  And for those Catholics who are kind of done with the whole “God” thing, and are looking for something more embracing of all practices and beliefs, the Unitarian church might do it for them.

If You Want to Learn More About Scripture and how to Know Yourself and God through Scripture, click HERE. 

Wicca/Neo-Pagan

Did you just fall out of your chair?  It is really true……the majority of people I know who are currently practicing Wicca were raised Catholic.  And if you know anything about Wicca, it is an easy transition from Catholicism to Wicca for many reasons, not the least of which is polytheism.  As much as the Institution would quake in its shoes to hear me say this, Catholicism is about as polytheistic as it gets.  No, the teachings and theology of the Catholic Church are not polytheistic – professing One God (oops….in three!).  🙂  But let’s get real, in practice, Catholics worship many “gods”.  Yes, these “gods” are cleverly disguised as “Mary and the Saints” but who do we think we are fooling?  I know, I know, we aren’t worshipping Mary and the Saints and we really do only believe in ONE God, but our practice of honoring the Communion of Saints and having altars to our favorite saints, wearing their medals, hanging their pictures in our home,  saying novenas to them, etc. etc. etc. is no different than the practices we judge as polytheistic from our Wicca or Hindu or Pagan brothers and sisters.  So let’s pull the splinter of the true cross out of our eye before we yank the broomstick out of our Wicca brother and sister’s eyes.  The other reasons Catholics gravitate toward Wicca are rituals and sabbats.  Wicca rituals look a lot like ours and their holidays…..well, let’s just be really honest here and admit that we stole our holidays from THEM!  Check your history books if you don’t believe me!

Buddhism

For many Catholics, their true heart resides in contemplation.  The problem is, they don’t know it and the Church hasn’t done a good job of helping them identify or find this within their own faith.  So…….for many of these Catholics, the restlessness that drives all of us to our truth, causes them to seek the remedy to this restlessness and for many, instead of finding the remedy within the rich tradition of Christian Contemplation, find it in the contemplative practices and philosophies of Buddhism.  Here, they find the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of God, (known in peace, contentment, love and joy)  that they found elusive in their experience of Catholicism.  Buddhism is also an easy resting place for those who have had trouble with the negative images of God sometimes propogated by the Church.  In Buddhism, there is no sense of a “personal” God.  Instead, it is described as Essence or Presence – something transcendent, but not separate from us, something that is part of us and it our truest self, highest self, truest nature.  HMMMMM…..sounds a little like Jesus’ teachings on Oneness.  🙂

If You are Interested in Learning More About Christian Contemplation and Jesus’ Teachings on Oneness, click HERE. 

Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong

One HUGE thing that has been neglected in Catholicism is the spiritual nature of our physical bodies.  Our bodies house our Spirit and are therefore sacred, holy, amazing.  In its attempt to demonize physicality, the body has all but been neglected or worse yet, effectively destroyed.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, Dance, SEX, allow us to rediscover the intimate relationship between physical movement and God.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, etc. allow Catholics to fill an ENORMOUS gap in their religious/spiritual experience.  Sadly, the Institution hasn’t been very supportive of these practices and in some cases have tried to dissuade Catholics from participating. If you have found yoga to be supportive in your search for inner peace and your priest tells you it is evil, how are you going to respond?  Hmmmm…..I’m thinking some might decide to leave, especially if their experience of Church isn’t providing them with the same kind of spiritual fulfillment.  Just sayin’!

New Age Groups, gatherings, on-line communities

Several years ago the Vatican published a document on the New Age Movement.  In short, they don’t like it and in the document condemn many of what they are calling “New Age” practices (Eastern meditation practices, hands-on healing, yoga, meditation, among other things).   The New Age Movement is drawing many Catholics away from the Church because it meets the needs that are not being met in the Church.  DUH!  And this is where I get to do a little of my own pontificating……What would happen if instead of condemning the New Age Movement, the Vatican took the time to explore WHAT in the New Age Movement was drawing Catholics and offer these things in their own communities.  Because I’m here to tell you that whatever we are finding in the New Age Movement exists within our Catholic Tradition.  It is just that nobody bothered to teach us and show us how we could get the very same needs met within our own Church.

If you are interested in learning more about the connection between “new age” energy medicine and Jesus, click HERE

Isolated and Alone

This is the group of non-practicing Catholics for whom I feel the deepest level of grief.  These are the folks who were told they weren’t welcome or felt as if they were not accepted by their Church and who have been unable (or unwilling) to find supportive and accepting community elsewhere.  So, they sit home, alone and unfed.  This makes me sad.

If you were raised Catholic and no longer attend mass, why not?

What spiritual and communal needs are you finding satisfied outside the Catholic Church and where are you finding them met?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Inspiration, Jesus, Spiritual Formation

Jesus Out with the Bathwater?

Today’s blog explores the searching stage of spiritual development and how for many Christians, Jesus gets lost along the way…..but more importantly, why Jesus is still relevant and why we don’t need to set him aside in our quest for spiritual fulfillment.

Questioning, Asking, Challenging our childhood beliefs

I believe that the searching stage of spiritual development is absolutely critical to becoming spiritually and emotionally mature adults (and all the experts on spiritual growth like Fowler and Maslow, etc. agree with me).   The searching stage of spiritual development is when we start asking the questions, challenging dogma, doctrine, rules, wanting to find reason in mystery and wanting to believe in something that we can believe in because it resonates with me, not just because I am told to do it.  The searching stage is when we start looking both within and outside the religions of our youth for that which speaks to our heart, that which nourishes and feeds us and that which might have a bit of reason added to it.  Searching is healthy, necessary and exciting and eventually leads us to spiritual fulfillment and ultimately to our life purpose and mission.  If we don’t search, we are doomed to be a pew potato, doing what we are told and believing what we believe because someone told us to.  And for any churchs out there reading this blog, you really want your members to be more than blindly obedient – mature disciples give and serve WITHOUT being asked because it flows naturally out of who they are and who they have become.

Ripe with Opportunity, Ripe with Dangers

As the symbol of the ouroborus suggests, this time of searching is ripe with opportunities and ripe with dangers.  The opportunities are there to learn and to grow, to mature and evolve.  The dangers, however, require a stout and courageous heart.  Sometimes in the searching, we find that the religion of our youth no longer fits who we truly are.  This is only a danger, however, if we are unduly attached to our childhood religion (which many of us are) or to the approval of our tribe (parents, clergy, members of the community, etc.).  The greatest danger, however, in this searching phase of spiritual growth, however, is really the danger to the religious institutions to which we had been affiliated.  It is for this reason that most religious institutions DO NOT provide the tools, the permission, the processes by which members can effectively searched.  They are afraid that if we search, we will no longer be obedient, and that we might leave.  And people are……in droves.  (What would happen if our religious institutions actually gave us permission, tools and proceeses for the searching stage of spiritual development?  Might we be grateful for their support, openness and acceptance and find a way to make the faith of our childhood our own?????  HMMMMMM  I wonder!!!)   For men and women raised in Christian traditions, however, there is an even more catastrophic danger in this searching stage and a frequent casualty that makes me really sad.

How Jesus Got Dumped

The catastrophic danger and resulting casualty that I am referring to is the loss of Jesus.  There are so many people I know who were raised in Christian traditions, start their searching stage of spiritual development (largely without the support of their church), find fulfillment and meaning in practices from the East (yoga, zen meditation, tai chi, etc.) or in the rituals of Wicca or Native American spirituality,  and decide that Jesus is no longer relevant and might even be ridiculous.  This makes me really sad!  Why do we have to throw Jesus out with the bathwater?  Even though the religion of our youth may no longer speak to us or we have found fulfillment in other traditions and practices, that doesn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t a profound teacher, healer and spiritual leader.  Just because our religions have often twisted Jesus’ teachings to further their power agendas doesn’t mean his teachings are not relevant to our spiritual growth and development.

Bringing Jesus Back

People might think me insane, but I think it is time to bring Jesus back!  To restore him to his rightful place as teacher, healer, prophet, spiritual leader, way-shower.  Bringing Jesus back does not mean we have to believe he’s the messiah, was raised from the dead,  or even the Son of God…..it just means that we can look beyond the constructs of doctrine and institutional manipulations and see the man for who he really was – a man of purpose who tried to teach us how to love.  I know it is really cool these days to give honor to the Buddha, the Hindu dieties, Pagan gods and goddesses, (which all deserve their place of honor) but do we dare to make it cool to also give honor to Jesus?  I’m going to try it for awhile and see what happens.  Wanna join me?

How is Jesus relevant in your own journey?

What parts of the Jesus message ring as true for you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in About Lauri

Shameless Self-Promotion – Part 1

It is time for a little shameless self-promotion.  As I explore my own giftedness, I invite you to explore your own!


There comes a time in every self-employed, professional’s journey when we must wave the flag of our own greatness, or our businesses would never get off the ground, and those that could benefit from the sharing of our gifts would never have the opportunity to enjoy those gifts.  Today is one of those days.  The invitation for me today to wave the flag of my own magnificence brings to mind the words of one of my teachers, Julie Tallard Johnson, “You each have your own unique medicine and there are people out there just waiting to receive it.” It is to those folks that I pen today’s blog. 

As you probably already know, I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director and Reiki Master Practitioner and see clients in person, via Skype and over the phone for these services.  What you might not know are the things about my education, training and background that make me unique in the field of holistic healing, personal growth and transformation:

  • I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools, studied Catholic/Christian theology and spirituality for seven years and worked professionally in the Catholic Church for 10 years.  As such, I bring a sensitivity to issues related to being raised Catholic.  Many of my clients are men and women who have been raised Catholic and are trying to find their own truth in the midst of what they were taught.  Some clients are trying to recover from the guilt and fearful images of the Divine that sometimes come with being raised in this tradition.
  • As part of my studies in Catholic/Christian spirituality, I learned ancient spiritual tools and practices not readily accessible to most Catholics or Christians.  These traditions have been carefully guarded by monastic communities and have been part of the Christian tradition for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but not shared with the average Joe or Jill in the pew.  When practiced diligently, these tools help to facilitate profound spiritual growth, healing and transformation.  The focus of my work has been to make these tools available to EVERYONE!
  • Along with my studies in Catholicism, I have studied and enjoyed the practices of many other traditions: Buddhism, Paganism, Wicca, Hinduism, Yoga, Zen, etc.  Exploring and learning from these traditions has taught me to look for the places of connection between all the world religions and spiritual traditions, something I have brought into my own practice and have incorporated into my writings, my curriculum development, my program facilitation and retreat work.
  • In addition to studying and practicing Reiki, I have studied Chi Qong and Chinese Medicine.  Knowledge and experience in these fields of energy medicine have enhanced the work I do as a Spiritual Director and teacher.  All of the classes I teach incorporate this knowledge and experience.
  • Oh yea, and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Iowa and 10+ years of corporate experience in sales, management and marketing.

So, there’s my professional resume in a nutshell.  This is for your knowledge and if you know any of those people just waiting for the “medicine” that I have to offer, I invite you to share this blog and website with them.  I also invite you to take some time today to reflect on the education and experiences that have contributed to your own unique medicine.  How has this made you special and unique?  When was the last time you took the time to wave the flag of your own unique magnificence?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/yourspiritualtruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com