Spiritism: 15 million
The problem with the list I have been using to meditate on the relationship between religions and the environment is it is all inclusive…noting religions that have less adherents then the population of New York City. Not that I am making fun of or discounting any of the “smaller” religions…In fact in honor of CES’ web mistress I will post on the Unitarians no matter what BUT Spiritism? I am almost afraid to see what pops out of the search engine. Could it be spooks!
This article is about Spiritism. For the similar movement prominent from 1830 to 1920 in most English-speaking countries, see Spiritualism.
Allan Kardec (1804-69), “decoder” of Spiritism
Spiritism is a spiritualist philosophical doctrine, established in France in the mid-nineteenth century.
Spiritism, or French spiritualism, is based on books written by French educator Hypolite Léon Denizard Rivail under the pseudonym Allan Kardec reporting séances in which he observed a series of phenomena that could be only attributed to incorporeal intelligence (spirits). His assumption of spirit communication was validated by many contemporaries, among them many scientists and philosophers who attended séances and studied the phenomena. His work was later extended by writers like Leon Denis, Arthur Conan Doyle, Camille Flammarion, Ernesto Bozzano, Chico Xavier, Divaldo Pereira Franco, Waldo Vieira, Johannes Greber and others.
Spiritism has adherents in many countries throughout the world, including Spain, United States, Japan, Germany, France, England, Argentina, Portugal and especially Brazil, which has the largest proportion and the greatest number of followers.
OK where is Houdini when you need him?
|* Spiritism is a lesson of love and everlasting life in a continued pursuit of self-improvement and harmony with all the creation throughout multiple existences.|
|* It is the collection of principles and laws, as revealed by the Superior Spirits, contained in the works of Allan Kardec, which constitute the Codification of Spiritism: The Spirits’ Book, The Mediums’ Book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Heaven and Hell and The Genesis According to Spiritism.|
|* It is the promised Consoler which came, at the appointed time, to compliment and remind us of what Jesus taught, “reestablishing all things in their true meaning”, so bringing to Humanity the true basis for spiritualization.|
But I forgot about mother earth and the New Agers.
Under the Spell of Mother Earth – Chapter 5
Welcoming the Goddess
“Pagans at the Harvard Divinity School. A Goddess-centered ritual at the University of Pennsylvania. A feminist seder in Silver Spring. New moon groups at a rabbinical seminary. Women’s spirituality sessions at Appalachian State University, Wesleyan University, Brown …. What on earth is going on?” (Judith Weinraub, The Washington Post)1 “In the beginning, there was no God. There was the Goddess. She peered into the great void and created the Heaven and the Earth, and in this new domain women ruled. The world was peaceful and both sexes worshiped Her.” (Sonia L. Nazario, The Wall Street Journal)2
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
LINDA, A STUDENT in elementary education at California State University at Sacramento, had to take a course titled “Curriculum and Methods in Elementary School Social Studies.” On the first day of class, her professor drew a large serpent on the chalkboard. “This will protect you against evil forces,” he explained. “What kind of a class is this?” wondered Linda. A few weeks later, she wrote the following message to her mother who sent it on to me:
I absolutely hate it! The teacher is wearing a crystal around his neck. If this gives you any idea – here are some of our text titles: When God Was a Woman, Myths to Live By, Return of the Goddess, Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches, The Once and Future Goddess, etc. If I didn’t have to be here, I would have walked out already. I’m so amazed that this is our required class.
Linda was being trained to teach Goddess spirituality. As a Christian, she recognized the deception. But what about her peers? What kind of social studies will they be teaching their students? And if the Goddess is spreading her pagan roots through public education, how are her values influencing the rest of the nation?
The Rise of Goddess Spirituality
During the mid-eighties, I searched local bookstores in vain for information on ancient Canaanite idol worship. I wanted to understand God’s prophecy to Abraham concerning the time his descendants would enter the Promised Land. God promised it would happen after 400 years of captivity, when the “sin of the Amorites” reached “its full measure.”3 As always, His timing would be perfect. Israel would not be allowed to possess the land until Canaan’s degrading idolatry made it ripe for judgment.
Suddenly, in early 1990, books about Goddess worship burst into public view with voluptuous illustrations, they described the Babylonian religion that had captivated the Canaanites in earlier days.
Our most popular local bookstore displayed thirty-one books on the Goddess. Some titles, like those on Linda’s reading list, express today’s growing fascination with the mythical Earth Mother: The Goddess Returns; The Way of the Goddess – A Manual for Wiccan Initiation; The Serpent and the Goddess – Women, Religions and Power in Celtic Ireland; The Goddess Within, Goddesses in Every Woman, The Sacred Age of the Goddess; The Triple Goddess; The Once and Future Goddess …
Other titles joined Goddess worship to ecofeminism, feminine spirituality, and witchcraft: Priestesses; Kali-The Feminine Force; The Great Cosmic Mother – Rediscovering the Religions of the Earth; Myth and Sexuality; Drawing Down the Moon – Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshipers and Other Pagans in America Today; The Great Cosmic Mother,, The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries – Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess Rituals, Spellcasting and other Womanly Arts.
Why this outpouring of publicity for the ancient Goddess? Roger Woolger and Jennifer Barker Woolger gave an answer in their article “‘The Wounded Goddesses Within”:
Throughout the world, but most prominently in Westernized countries, we are witnessing a reawakening of the feminine, a profound upheaval within the consciousness of women… Radical commentators have called it figuratively a “return of the Goddess,” because it seems to suggest the very antithesis of patriarchal society.4
The myths and practices that beckon seekers resemble those of Deep Ecology. But followers of the Goddess express far more anger toward our male-dominated culture. To save the earth, they plan to …
Replace the obsolete patriarchal system of a Father God which, they say, is squeezing our planet dry of resources, with the more compassionate culture of the ancient Mother Goddess.
Revive the ancient myths, images, and rituals of the Goddess.
Reclaim the power and sacredness of eroticism.
“Ecofeminism develops the connections between ecology and feminism that social ecology needs in order to reach its own avowed goal of creating a free and ecological way of life.”5 (Ynestra King in Healing the Wounds)
Ecofeminists envision a world without authority figures or male saviors, “for the saving and sustaining power is in herself.”6 Filled with earth’s psychic energies and wisdom, we would each be free to do
A Wisdom Archive on The Gaia Hypothesis
The Gaia Hypothesis proposes that our planet functions as a single organism that maintains conditions necessary for its survival. The truly startling component of the Gaia hypothesis is the idea that the Earth is a single living entity with the capacity of self regulation.
If you want to chat about it you can go to the site above. I don’t think the new agers have groups per se…the very idea of organizations is so OLD World. But they do have festivals: