Vessels of Light

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According to Kabbalah, the interaction between vessel and light is what makes the world go around. Everything in the universe is a vessel that “wills” to receive the light of the infinite bestower. Each molecule, plant, animal, rock, and human is a vessel; each has the “will” to be exactly what it is.

Human consciousness is unique in that it has the quality of being “in the image of God.” This quality is expressed by what we call free will, and free will at its core is nothing more than the ability to bestow light. That is to say, human consciousness has an inherent will to give. This human capability of acting like God in being a bestower is the fulcrum upon which the entire universe is balance.

-Rabbi David A. Cooper God is A Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism, p 76

My journey to Shamanism keeps taking interesting twists and turns: A labyrinthine path to the center of my being to find my true connection to Source. What is most interesting to me is that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for me to just study Celtic Shamanism–not just because I am in Seminary and therefore am studying a myriad of things all at once, but also because spirituality isn’t clear cut. Every religion throughout time has been influenced by elements outside of itself. Celtic beliefs themselves, although springing up from the land on which the Celts lived, became informed by the Roman rule later imposed upon them, which itself was altered by Greek thought, etc. The spirituality of the Celts was much later influenced by the Christians who came to their land, and on and on it goes.

Much like my ancient Celtic ancestors, my personal life path has been informed by MANY things–one of which is ART. As a class this semester I chose to create an independent study on Expressive Arts Therapy as Spiritual Practice. I want to be able to help people in a hospital setting work through their issues and talk to Source, using ART as a tool. As part of this class I decided to immerse myself in an art form that I always wanted to learn, but hadn’t had the chance: POTTERY.

So, to a pottery studio in Studio City I went; and I learned how to throw on a wheel. What a healing and meditative experience! I was able to allow the hustle and bustle of my week to fall away the moment I put my hands on that clay, to center it on that wheel. I began to understand why Shamans throughout history had dug their hands deep into the Earth and crafted things out of its clay. It was a somatic experience that linked me to myself and to my capability to be a bestower of form–much like Source.

It became extremely important to me to create SACRED VESSELS in this learning process. And thus, I created Altar Vessels = one for light, one for incense, one to be the new home of my Blue Medicine Buddha (a major Sources of Healing in my life in the past), and one to use as a meditation tool itself. I am in awe of how holy these items have become to me, and I want to encourage all of you to create sacred items for your own use.

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As I have been studying the Kabbalah over the last month, the concept of human-be-ings as Vessels of Light has trickled down into my pottery class, my life, and my spirituality. Although this isn’t specifically about Celtic Shamanism, I felt that it was important to share as it has informed my whole being. I am reminded of a saying by Lao Tzu, “Shape clay into the vessel–it is space that makes it useful.” As we move throughout our lives we are shaping our own vessels of our being, sharing in that creation process with Source to guide us back to our Oneness. It is up to you to make yours useful.

Bíodh amhlaidh
May You Fill Your Vessel with Light
-The Sacred Circle Shaman, Pamela Dawn

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