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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008
    A merry meet
     
    A Golden Number, the Paschal Full Moon, and a set of complex calculations to determine a code called the Sunday Letters: these ciphers are elements in the arcane art of finding the date of Easter Day. Fundamentalists both Christian and pagan (Julian Cope, take a bow) may very shrilly insist on separating their worldviews from the 'other', but the reality is that spirituality, mysticism and religion of all shades share a great deal in common.

    There ought to be joy in discovering where these traditions connect. It might tell us a lot more about ourselves than we've dared to acknowledge. This Easter is as early in the year as it's possible to be; it's come round immediately after Christmas to hit us between the eyes. But I shall take some solace, pre-Lent, in reading Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual, Sex and Magic by Joanne Pearson. I'm drawn to an author who 'prowls the borderlands of Christianity' seeking to be truthful about the ties which beautifully bind all kinds of believers (Pentecostals and pagans, Orthodox and occultists, Anabaptists and esotericists, Methodists and magicians, and various spiritualists, mystics, gnostics), whether they're comfortable acknowledging this merry meet or not.