Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Saving Grace

Rise up with the new dawn’s early morning
Feel the sunshine warm upon your face

Tomorrow’s come a long, long way to help you

Yes, it’s your saving grace.

— lyrics by Tim Davis, Steve Miller Band

As our journey with the Graces concludes this week, I am inviting you to consider the meaning of Grace in your own life. For instance, when we first embarked on our trip last year, some of my visitors were a bit dubious, since the idea of Grace has become so closely associated with the tenets of Christianity.

It is true that the Christians have a lot to say about Grace, specifically about being saved by it. That’s logical, since their core beliefs assert that humanity is evil, unless “saved” by the grace of their father/son God.

In fact, the early Christian theologians, educated in Greece and Rome, appear to have changed the gifts of the more ancient Goddesses Aglaia (Splendor, Radiance), Euphrosyne (Festivity, Cheerfulness), and Thalia (Blooming, Flowering, Joy) into a construct that became synonymous with the rescue mission of their God who became incarnate.

Although with untold hundreds of variations and subtle nuances, Christian Grace has basically come to mean that man is given redemption from his wicked nature, not based on merit, but on the love and forgiveness of God. (Never mind that this same God rigged the very system that resulted in man’s nature being basically corrupt.)

As Pagans and Witches, we generally don’t believe we need our souls to be rescued, since we believe the Earth is Herself Divine, and we are a part of Her, not separate, or “fallen.” Hell, eternal damnation, and other infinite punishments do not exist in our beliefs. Nor do we start with a presumption that people are born bad, until initiated (or baptized) into the faith.

So, if we don’t see ourselves as broken, we don’t need to be fixed. And if we don’t need to be rescued from our own identity, why might Grace matter to us?

Our Greek ancestors, and later the Romans, always, without fail, invoked the Graces before every meal, festival, or other gathering. Their presence assured harmony and blessings. I like the idea that Grace is a combination of the gifts from the three original Graces, and is given for the sole reason, simply, that we have asked for it.

Must we know for certain what we need at all times? Do we dare to ask for blessings we are not sure we deserve?

I believe that asking for Grace is an act of supreme awareness. It is an affirmation that we know we are a part of a loving, wise, Divine Being. Asking for Grace means that the Divine One(s) will fill in the gaps that we may not be consciously aware of, support us in invisible ways we cannot ourselves anticipate, and know our hearts more clearly than we may understand them.

We ask in perfect love. We receive in perfect trust.

And this is our saving Grace.

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  • January 7, 2009, 10:57 am Angela Raincatcher

    Recently we had a cat die from cancer — his name was Lucky. We just got a new female kitten to be companion to our other cats. Thinking about your journey through the Graces, and the joy that the new kitten brought to our home, and the fact that we seem to name our cats from Greek mythology — we chose to name her Gracie.

  • January 7, 2009, 12:22 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Oh! I am so touched by this.. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you, and may your new kitty be most Gracefully blessed!
    – B.

  • January 7, 2009, 4:41 pm Sage BrightHeart

    I have a strong connection to the concept of “grace” both as used in the spiritual context and in the physical.

    I am a recovering _____ (fill in the blank), and while I was not in fear of damnation after death, I surely felt the chill of death in my soul and was close to its embrace. I had a moment where a voice, not my own, said in my head “there used to be something inside of you worth loving. Let’s find out if it’s still there.” I was drunk, it was Noon, I was calling in “sick” again and had been told I had used up all my sick leave for the year in under 10 weeks.

    I looked in the mirror and heard another voice saying “You are a Loser, which you never wanted to be.”

    I called for help, went to a holistic treatment program (5 days at a hot sulfur springs and intensive aftercare following), and over 22 years later I am still sober, clean, recovered in mind, body and spirit.

    And fully on the pagan/Wiccan path

    I looked up Grace in the dictionary one time and loved the definition I read, knowing it is simply what is commonly in use: “A gift not earned.” Nothing about mortal sin, damnation, or God. Open to interpretation.

    The song “Amazing Grace” still brings me to tears, as I don’t know why I, out of so many who were not, was “saved,” not from “Satan” or my own evil nature, for I don’t believe in either, but from my genetics and a lousy set of circumstances that set me up to be the perfect addict. Plus I’ve been losing my eyesight for over 10 years, and the references to “was blind and now I see” just does me in.

    Regarding the physical references to grace, as a former dance, now too gimpy for words, I appreciate the belly dancer’s sacred dance and the grace with which a hula dancer tells a story. I see the Goddess(es) when I participate in 5Rhythms ecstatic movements, and again when I study Qigong.

    That’s it from me. I love your listing of the gifts of the ancient Goddesses: Splendor, Radiance, Festivity, Cheerfulness, Blooming, Flowering and Joy. They appeal to my Libran nature, and sense of bounty at being given a second chance at life. I need them like I need the air I breathe or the water for my body.

    Many Blessings in the New Year and Always,
    Sage BrightHeart
    http://outofsightoutoftime.blogspot.com/

  • January 8, 2009, 8:21 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Sage! Thank you for surviving and thriving in the ways you have done..and for sharing this part of your story. Blessings to you for your courage and true grace.

    You are an inspiration.
    – Beth