But, of course, it (or He) wouldn’t leave me alone.
In 2007, still feeling that the question was unresolved, I did two things: I started going back to the occasional service at shul, and I asked Sannion to request an oracle from Dionysos on my behalf, to see what a higher wisdom had to say about my dilemma. The answer I got surprised me at first, although after sitting with it for a year or so, I see that the surprise was unwarranted. The details of His response are personal, but the gist was that the dilemma didn’t need to be resolved, that my best course of action was to accept the contradictions and work from within the space between those poles, that this was where my area of greatest creativity lay.
It was shortly after this that I became involved with Neos Alexandria; whether it was just the coincidence of Sannion’s involvement with the group and his channeling the oracle, or possibly a nudge from Someone, I still don’t know – but what I discovered when I started really looking into it excited me a great deal (and still does). Neos Alexandria is focused on honoring *all* the Gods that were worshipped in pre-Christian Alexandria, or at least providing a space for them to be honored, very much including Yahweh (named as Iao Sabaoth). A couple of the other members are also interested in Him, and at least one has written Him some lovely ecstatic poetry (that can be found on the website).
And my association with NA certainly has been creative! In addition to building the music pages for the website, I have had wonderful and enlightening discussions with a great bunch of intelligent, caring and thoroughly grounded pagans (the e-list is very active), helped copy-edit a couple of the books published through Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and generally had a wonderful time expanding my religious horizons.
I have been slow to actually try their worship format, due partly to a lack of time and partly to a certain timidity; I know that Yahweh accepts my worship in a Jewish context, and the Theoi accept my worship in a more traditionally Hellenic context, and I am hesitant about rocking that boat. However – if, as I suspect, NA could prove the means to… not to resolve the contradictions, but perhaps to synthesize them… then I think I owe it to myself and my Gods to try.
I also have the prospect of becoming involved again with Jewish music on some level, as the rabbi of a small congregation nearer my home has expressed to me that they urgently need good voices. Not sure what will come of that, but the number of coincidences that surrounded that conversation are too numerous to list here, which makes me suspect that I’m being guided there (or at least patted on the head for finally getting the clue!).
And so, this is where I am on my journey today – pagan with Jewish leanings, and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. (The unforeseeable future, of course, is another matter altogether.)