The First Kingdom Church Of Asphodel
Charter of Faith
This document was created in order to describe, in the clearest possible term, the faith that underlies the Asphodel tradition. It is not intended to inform members, potential members, or the larger Pagan community what they ought to believe or do. Members are free to believe as they choose, even if those beliefs are in direct conflict with this charter. If any person feels there is enough common ground between the Asphodel tradition and their own beliefs and practices that they wish to learn, worship or celebrate within the Asphodel tradition, they are welcome to join Asphodel regardless of how widely their values and theology may differ from these.
We, the founding officers of The First Kingdom Church of Asphodel, on this the 21st day of June, 2003, do hereby create our Church wherein our spirits shall be inspired, succored, and brought into fellowship together. We declare that all that is set here below is a true representation of our faith and that of our congregation.
We are neo-pagans. We teach the concept of spiritual realization through the body of paleo-pagan cultural mythos collected throughout the ages.
We are an earth-centered, or 'immanent' faith. We see sanctity as present not only in an afterlife or otherworld, but throughout the physical realm of this world and our physical bodies.
We follow the cycles of sun and moon and the climate changes of the turning year. We celebrate the equinoxes and solstices, and the changing of seasons as traditional in our faith.
We are a hierarchical organization. We believe in practicing and modeling honorable leadership and service, through a clearly defined structure of interpersonal and organizational relationships.
We believe in reclaiming and living sacred archetypes as part of a greater spiritual path. We use mythic and archetypical titles within a spiritual Kingdom structure as part of this practice.
We accept as liturgy the worship outlined in the Book of Hours, but also accept the importance of speaking to the Gods as we are moved to at the time of worship.
We are theists. We believe that the gods and goddesses are real, not merely archetypes, and that they are independent of our existence. They are not a product of human thought, or simply a useful psychological construct. They visit us in many ways and have a tangible presence in our lives. We propitiate the deities we work with and give them offerings, both as a show of respect and out of gratitude.
We believe that anyone can communicate with deity and experience it directly, without a priest or any other intermediary. Knowledge of deity comes in many forms, including diverse traditions and sources of lore, as well as personal gnosis through visions, conversations or intuition. We believe prayer can be a conversation, if you listen with your whole soul.
We are polytheists. We believe that there are many different deities, each specific unto themselves, and all of whom deserve some kind of reverence. We follow a complex liturgy that honors many different deities and principles from a variety of cultures. We believe that every one of them is valid, and valuable, in their own way.
We are pantheists. We believe that all gods and goddesses are part of the same divine energy, even those who we do not work with or are unknown to us, but on the level in which they are undifferentiated, they are impersonal, the same way that human beings are all part of a great swarm of human energy. They, like us, are both individual and part of something greater.
We are polygnostic. We believe there are many paths of Truth, and we teach the process of attaining the kernel of such truth from many different ancient creeds. We recognize the value of all ways of connecting with spirit, and we appreciate what other paths have to offer, to us and to others.
We believe in the importance of honoring our ancestors, both loved ones that have passed, and those who came long before us.
We are animists. We believe that all natural things, and some manmade things, have an indwelling spirit. We honor the spirits of this good earth and of all those beings who live on it.
We believe in the Law of Return. We believe that our actions have consequence, both concrete and spiritual, in this life and beyond it.
We follow the principle, "An it harm none, do as thou wilt." We believe in taking responsibility for our own actions, and living lives that are as nonharmful as humanly possible.
We do not accept the concept of absolute evil. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefit can only be derived by denial to another.
We believe in validity and usefulness of magic and the manipulation of non-physical energy.
We believe in the importance of family and community. We strive to foster and support the bonds of kinship between our members, and with their families outside the Church.
We believe in the importance of oaths, as a way of making commitments to each other and to the gods. These oaths are binding, and never to be taken or broken casually.
We believe in the importance of spiritual discipline. Our commitments are often difficult, and once taken up are not easily be put down. Through focus and perseverance, we continue towards our goals despite setbacks and failure, with the support of the Church and our community.
We believe in the importance of education, both of our members and their children, and of the larger community. This includes not only knowledge of the spiritual tenets of our faith, but also of its history, and of the arts through which it can be expressed.
We believe in the importance of craftsmanship, and in learning the skills of our ancestors. This is both a spiritual discipline and a way of connecting with our ancestors.
We believe in the spiritual value of military service, and the study of the martial arts of various cultures. The path of the warrior is one of long study, self discipline, and honor. It requires not only physical strength, but strength of will, and the willingness to defend what that which you value.
We believe in the spiritual value of monastic life, whether as a life long commitment, a set period of months, or a few days retreat. The simplicity and structure of immersion in this path can be a means to a clarity and depth of spirituality which cannot be found elsewhere.
We believe in the importance of charity and generosity as an expression of the abundance of Spirit. We see the act of being open-handed with others who have less as an earthly embodiment of divine protection and care.
We believe in the importance of connecting with other faith based organizations. We believe that which separates us is not so great as many would say, and we can build an understanding based on mutual respect and our sincere connection to the divine, in whatever form.
We recognize the Twelve Principles of Clarity as a structure for spiritual discipline.
1. I will maintain purity of body.
2. I will maintain simplicity in my possessions.
3. I will strive for clarity of words.
4. I will strive to live sustainably on the Earth.
5. I will place no commitment of the heart above my commitment to my spiritual path.
6. I will commit only to honorable work.
7. I will maintain clarity in all relationships.
8. I will strive for purity in my sexuality.
9. I will sustain clarity of faith.
10. I will submit humbly to honorable authority.
11. I will maintain loyalty to the endurance of my community.
12. I will strive always for mindfulness and clarity of soul.
These are guidelines that we strive to live by, rather than rules we attempt to enforce in others. How closely one keeps any of the Principles is a matter between them and the Gods.
By this document, we do not seek to dictate the beliefs of our congregation, but reflect them in the clearest possible words, so that these words may serve as a reminder and inspiration to each of us.
So mote it be.
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