How to cultivate a worldview
Your worldview is your philosophy of the world, its conception, and your place in it. It’s the meaning that you give the world, at each level of existence from the physical to the spiritual. Engaging with and accessing this meaning is the key to furthering one’s personal work and deepening fulfillment.
Worldviews can be held by individuals, small groups, communities, even cultures. One individual may hold different worldviews simultaneously – a sort of pluralistic philosophy. We will often share a worldview to allow us to work in tandem, while privately engaging with the world in different ways.
Since our worldviews are of the physical, etheric, astral, mental, and spiritual worlds, we have to be able to communicate with ourselves at each of these levels in order to best engage and experience our world. Through symbolic action we can engage with our worldviews, and through consistent engagement we can cultivate a steady sense of the world and our place in it.
Symbolic action is what we apply in ritual – a set of actions that symbolically link us to a greater worldview, and in some cases allow us to change the world through that link.
The daily devotional ritual is a path towards building a deeper understanding of the Brotherhood, its ethos, and its basic theology. Making the daily devotion part of your regular practice will deepen your experience of our order and its mysteries. It’s a way to approach the Brotherhood’s worldview from a place of that aforementioned symbolic action – joining us in community through shared understanding of the world.
The Brotherhood’s worldview
Rather than write some enormous essay regarding the totality of our worldview, there are just some presuppositions we hold that deserve clarification. In no way do the following ideas comprise the total worldview of the Order or its members, but the following notes will help you to engage with the devotion in a deeper fashion.
Hopefully they also illuminate some small part of why the Brotherhood exists, and what the meaning of our work is, even so simple a working as this devotional ritual.
So, in no particular order:
We walk with the spirits, and they walk with us.
This is a familiar and comfortable concept for many pagans, specifically animistic pagans, but it certainly bears repeating. These spirits are the spirits of the land on which we walk and work. These are our communal queer ancestors, those who came before us and paved the roads on which we now walk. They are the spirits of the wind and the water, guardian spirits and guides.
Our Gods are in the hearts of all men who love men, as are the seeds of their gifts.
The Eightfold Queer God of the Brotherhood is seen in many different ways and with many different faces. Some will experience one god with eight faces, facets, or forms. Some will experience eight separate gods, each with their own agency. We encourage you to find the divine within your own experience. Regardless, the Queer God is to be found in all of us, in our hearts and in the connections between our hearts. The gifts of these gods are always available to us when our hearts are open to them.
At the center of the Labyrinth is the Phoenix, who is the spark of queer fire inside of us all.
This is a fire that we once claimed, and can again. We acknowledge the historical role of queer peoples in many societies as healers, teachers, and intermediaries with the spirits and the gods. This is a fire that resides at the center of the Labyrinth, which is the center of our self, which is the Phoenix burning brightly. This is the power to transform and regenerate.
Once claimed and experienced, these flames connect us, unseen, in community.
We are connected by the Phoenix as one sacred community, a Brotherhood. We support one another, and are supported in turn.
The work of the Phoenix and the Labyrinth is that of transformation, both micro- and macrocosmically.
To experience the Phoenix at the center of the labyrinth is to join your community in transformation. This is first a transformation of self, a journey down a previously unknown path. It is also a journey taken to transform the community, and in turn to transform the world that our community resides in.
The work of transformation is always work. Know yourself and be prepared to sacrifice.
If this is a path that calls to you, if it’s work that seems to move you, then be prepared for real work. Before you take a single step into the Labyrinth, it’s important to acknowledge the reality of what it means to transform. Your path towards the flames is one of self discovery. The path back is one of responsibility, carrying these flames back to community.
My heart is open to you.
In the Brotherhood we sometimes speak an esoteric tongue named Shicate, in which the words “Ta kya te” mean “My heart is open to you.” This is used as a salutation to fellow Brothers, to our Seekers, and certainly to our spirits and our gods. It’s a recognition of the connection that we share between us, and a promise to maintain that connection.