I’ll finally be done with the first leg of my Phd quest after I complete my thesis in June. Three years ago, we sacrificed decent income as a legal secretary, so I could return to college to finish my undergrad. It seemed silly since I was over 50 and I hadn’t been in school for three decades, but to me this was unfinished business that could give my Qadishtu Temple work important credibility.
I started in an adult program at DePaul with the quaint concept of being a theologian or ethicist. Theologians are the Christian way to define spokespeople for a religion. I'm Pagan, so this idea quickly morphed after I started taking classes in DePaul's Religious Studies Department and I ended up leaving the adult education ad hoc program.
DePaul's Religious Studies Department put me under the advisement of Dr. Kay Read whose special area of expertise was Meso-America and Native American studies. It was through her guidance I got over my self consciousness about being a mystic. In fact, I learned that William James wrote a book a century ago about secular mystics, those of us that had ecstatic transcendent experiences outside the structures of a church. James said we belonged to “Natural Religion.”
My thesis is on Interconnectedness and its impact on secular affairs. What I’m doing is showing legitimate connections between the transcendent and the mundane – and how it’s not supernatural, but everything is sacred and should be treated as such. The point is to stop the idea of disenchantment and allow mystical traditions to help heal mental health issues through a community-based method. Native Americans are already using community-based traditional spiritual practices to help soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq to get over Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If we can create a link between spirituality and a practical problem solving, this should generate actual secular and scientific validity.
What does that accomplish? Oh my god! Can you imagine? Being able to do active Qadishtu work without some institution coming in and arresting you for prostitution? Or how about doing studies on adolescent sexuality that will heal the society, not cripple it. I mean how far can we go on Just Say No To Sex? How is my education benefitting me as a Qadishtu? With a solid body of academic work behind me, my efforts as a Qadishtu Priestess should pack a bigger wallop. To my mind, a legitimized Priesthood has the greatest chance to help heal and serve our wounded world.