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Diary of a Heretic: The Pagan Adventures of a Christian Priest Kindle Edition
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I received the book yesterday, and finished it fully this afternoon. It really has been a day of revelations and synchronicity in abundance for me as I have read this book.
As someone who spent much time in and working for the Church of England, and even considering the life of a vicar in my more hopeful times, I found Mark's experiences resonate with me page after page.
And it recently that I have realised how much I miss Jesus, as part of my life, and worship. I rather stumbled across paganism and embraced the belief of the Goddess aspect, and it has been that a lot that has sustained me. But I also miss the fellowship, of like minded people, and Mark, from reading this book, and from knowing him a little on Facebook, I can see is a like minded soul. He appreciates and values the earth based religions, and looks for magic all around.
This book is not a wishy washy happy ever after auto biography. There is pain and hurt in the pages, confusion, and often a not knowing where to go or how to be authentic. And all these things I can resonate with and I feel confident now that my belief in the Goddess, and the more pagan aspects of worship, do not need to separate me from the parts of Christianity I did love and have grown up with. He also reminds us how the church is a human construct, and imperfect, and we have been a part of that imperfection if we have been part of the Church of England. But we don't need to remain boxed in and change or hide our beliefs to have a very real relationship with the Creator.
My last part of reading this book was actually spent at the Reading Seat he mentions in the book. It is a beautiful place, and one of inspiration (It is not far from me, so on the spur of the moment I decided to take myself off), and somewhere where it is hard not to appreciate God/dess in all things.
Thank you Mark for coming to the conclusion that you have (which I will not rob prospective readers of). I am glad that there are people out there who believe there is not one clear cut path or belief.
As a Pagan High Priestess with over 20 years practice I know first-hand what a burden it can be when others place you on a pedestal. Eventually you will fall off!
Mark bares all, showing himself as the wonderfully human man that he is. He doesn't do it to seek redemption, nor is this an attempt to sully the reputations of others who have wronged him. Indeed, he takes great pains to make sure names are not named.
Spiritual paths are seldom easy or straightforward. It is all too easy to lose your way as you try to figure out if you are even on that path. often times the writers and so called spiritual gurus present only the positive and the good thoughts, making readers think the only way to really be doing spiritual work "right" is by not striving towards, but constantly living in a state of non-doubt, non-questioning spiritual perfection. Not all spiritual leaders are placed on pedestals by their followers. Some climb up their all on their own, and then fight tooth and nail to maintain that illusion.
What Mark provides here is hope. If he can find his way back onto his own spiritual path, then so can the rest of us. If he can have doubts and imperfections and still find solace in his personal relationship with Spirit, then so can we.
The book is the diary of one year in Mark's life which charts his struggle to balance, integrate and assimilate his dual callings along Christian and Pagan pathways. For me, it describes the process of a man who, like a bonsai tree being freed from its binding-wires and tiny pot, rediscovers its essential tree-ness and slowly, awkwardly and often painfully begins to grow - his roots down into Paganism, and his branches up into Christianity (or vice versa!): for Mark, both the roots and the leaves of the branches provide him with life, nutrients and light.
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Parts of the book are like some sort of Star Wars theme where some mystic force...Read more