We do not believe there is any one “right” way to be an Alastrian. We do not require anyone cease, reject, or renounce existing spiritual beliefs; that is, we welcome Alastrian Muslims, Alastrian Christians, Alastrian Buddhists… you get the idea. We believe the Light has many names and manifestations. If your God is one of Love, Creation, and Goodness, then your God is our God; we simply speak of it in different terms.
Alastrianism first asks five questions of the Soul:
- Who am I this day?
Be honest with yourself. No one is perfect, but no one is without some measure of beauty and worth. Be kind to your Soul when you hold up your mirror, but do not ignore where you have come from, what things you have done, what has been done to you, and what dust may have gathered on your Soul in the process.
- Who do I wish to be?
If you feel content with your being right now, you’re probably not trying hard enough. As none of us are perfect, we believe everyone has room to learn, improve, and continue to grow for as long as they are alive. Therefore, continuing to refine your vision of the person you want to become should remain a lifelong exercise.
- What are my Light-given talents?
We believe every individual has unique knowledge and abilities. What are yours? What sets you apart from the 7 billion other people on planet Earth? Everyone we meet knows something we don’t, and is better than us at something. We all have the ability to teach others, and everyone in the world has something to teach us. Alastrians place great emphasis on pursuing one’s passions. There is no “hobby” too small to be of service of the Light. All crafts, arts, and intellectual pursuits can lead to spiritual enrichment, and can help offer Light to others when shared. Alastrians seek to hone their talents, and find ways to make their talents of service to others.
- What is the Darkness that hinders me?
We are all haunted by our mistakes, insecurities, fears, guilt, and other negativity, which holds us back from being the brightest version of ourselves. Alastrianism encourages confronting one’s “Shadow;” being honest with oneself about one’s shortcomings, and accepting things beyond our control (learning to love our imperfections), or working to change the thoughts and behaviors we do not want to have, so as to master our fears, forgive ourselves our mistakes, and move forward as better versions of ourselves. We have been offered the Light’s grace and Love, so we believe we should work to offer the same to ourselves, so as to not waste energy on things the Light has already put behind us.
- How or when do I feel most connected to my spiritual nature?
Alastrianism believes anywhere can be a “church,” and that anything can be a means to connect with the Light. You may feel most peaceful and spiritual in the woods, or on the water, or curled up in your armchair with a book. You may find yourself feeling the gentle pull of the universe on your Soul in the quiet hours of the morning before the world wakes up, or in the deep hours of the night, when it lies hushed and sleeping. Wherever you best hear the whisper of your own Soul, and the pull of the Universe around you– it is there you should seek the Light. We must make time for the moments and hours when the Light feels closest to us, and celebrate intervals of such solitude for reflection and meditation.
The Sacredness of Questioning
When you begin to shape answers to the five beginning questions, your personal spirituality will begin to take shape. As you get to know your own Soul and find the Light on your terms, you may find yourself with more questions. This is good. Alastrianism believes questions are the key to unlocking deeper spiritual meaning in life, and often use the formation of questions as an exercise to hone thoughts and direct both intellectual and spiritual energy. In this way, the Scientific Method and Alastrianism go hand-in-hand. Alastrianism simply allows room for the existence of sentience in the Light– accepts God and Science as beautifully interconnected, and in ways we are only beginning to understand.
For the practicing Alastrian, learning is lifelong. We believe in actively searching for answers to the questions we formulate, whether they be about God, the world around us, or ourselves. Alastrians value reputable information, and encourage library research, independent study, and mentor/apprenticeships. We respect scientific research and facts, and believe our spirituality can coexist with current scientific knowledge of the universe. We believe our understanding of God should evolve as we do, and that our discoveries about the natural world and the universe around us should enrich our understanding of the Light and our place in the Light’s Creation. We believe the Universe is infinitely mysterious, and therefore is no one sacred text or authority on the truth of its nature. We hold our faith in the Light, while trusting in our own senses, research, experience, and the intuition of the Soul.
Alastrian Motifs and Holidays
As Alastrianism encourages artistic expression, we use a variety of visual motifs to represent our ideas and values. Individuals often have their own sacred motifs, spirit guides, etc. but some common elements include:
The Tree of Life
Alastrianism reveres trees as sacred, as they are a representation of Lygoranth– the interconnectivity of life. This is drawn, in part, from the Norse concept of Yggdrasil, though the concept of the World Tree is found in many countries and religious beliefs. Many male Alastrians also connect with pagan motifs of the forest, stag, the Fisher King, and divine masculine. Alastrians tend to be conservationists, believing in the importance of ecological balance, and condemning wasteful or careless behaviors that result in ecological damage.
The Sun, and other celestial bodies
Most Alastrians consider the sun sacred, as it represents the Light in its gravity, motion, and material and energy production. Other stars, moons, and planets may hold meaning to individuals. Many female Alastrians revere the moon, connecting with its inherent resonance of the divine feminine. Opinions on practices such as astrology, spell casting, and divination vary among Alastrians, but we allow the possibility of individuals finding divine connections through such avenues, and welcome discussion of such practices.
Alastrians hold the wind in particular reverence, as many believe it carries the voice of the Light. To feel a soft breeze is considered a comforting sign of the Light’s presence, while a noisy wind in the trees could be a sign of the Light trying to draw one’s attention. The wind is thought to carry stories from all the places it has been, though it can be fickle about sharing its secrets. Alastrians often places objects around their home to catch the wind, such as flags, chimes, and bells to entice the wind (and the Light it carries) to their threshold.
The Spring Equinox
The morning of this day marks the renewal of the Light’s natural influence in world, the flourishing of Light energy, and the rebirth of the natural world. Some Alastrians celebrate this day as New Year. Often, the day is marked by morning prayers and songs, the planting of a symbolic flower or tree, or decorating and fertilizing the family’s tree, if the family has designated such a tree on their property. It is also considered a time of celebration of the Divine Feminine.
Walpurgis Night/May Day
April 30/May 1
Many Alastrians celebrate this night and following day as the full blossom of Spring, a time of fertility, celebration, and goodwill. During the night, a fire is lit, to symbolically drive away the last of the Winter’s chill and Darkness.
The Summer Solstice
This is viewed as “The Light’s Day,” and is often celebrated with music, sharing local fruits and desserts, prayers, and the making of wishes or requests for the Light’s favor, sometimes via the creation of prayer flags, or bonfires into which prayers written on paper are cast. This is also considered a time of giving– charitable acts or donations are encouraged, and often artistic Alastrians will create and or/gift special craft pieces for the Solstice. This day is viewed as the day when the Light is strongest, after which, the natural balance begins to wane in the Dark’s favor.
Day of the Word
This day celebrates the sacredness of reading, writing, the transfer and pursuit of knowledge. It is a day for poetry or other artistic readings, and a day often dedicated to artistic creation. Free expression and the exchanging of craft gifts is common.
The Autumnal Equinox
The evening of this equinox is considered the final waning cycle of the Light, and the time for collecting the year’s bountiful– it is a time for remembering, songs, and storytelling. Often, special drinks will be made and shared around a fire, while stories of the family’s history or favorite legends are recounted. Some Alastrians use motifs or rites connected to Dionysus or similar figures. It is also considered a time of celebration of the Divine Masculine.
The Winter Solstice
This is viewed as “The Dark’s Day,” and is celebrated by hanging lights, garlands of greens, and exchanging special holiday dishes with other community members. Many Alastrians stay awake late into the night on this Solstice, symbolically “keeping watch” on the night when the Light is faintest, but also on the cusp of its renewal. Bonfires, nut and marshmallow roasting, storytelling, and music are common late-night activities. This is considered the night on which Dark entities are most active, therefore it common for Alastrians to pray, practice special protection rites, or anoint their thresholds with sacred water or oil to deter Dark energy. Some Alastrians integrate this with their Christmas, Hannukah, or Kwanzaa celebrations. After this night, the Dark’s energy is thought to wane in the natural world.