Monday, 20 June 2011

Nuns, Witches and The Tenth Insight

Two nuns reading a book
I am reading The Tenth Insight by James Redfield at the moment. I am thoroughly enjoying it and a lot of the information sounds very familiar to me but when I got to the part of the I-narrator's past life reviews, I couldn't believe my eyes! The same thing happened to me but from a female standpoint!

He talks about being a Benedictine monk who came into contact with the Spirituals, a Gnostic order of the Franciscans who meditated and pursued a direct mystical link with the ultimate reality. He was enthusiastic about spreading and sharing their Truth but the Gnostics (and their methods) had been excommunicated by the church officials and persecuted. When his "heretic" dealings were found out, he was captured and languished at the stock for days before being decapitated.

In my book Unicorn Magic I write about my past life memory of being strangled to death publicly as a “ witch" for sharing spiritual truths which undermined the authority and power of the male church officials of the time.  I also wrote about my past life memory of being a nun dressed all in white in mediaeval times and recognising everything in Assisi when I went there in 2007. I know I was a nun in medieval Italy but I am not entirely sure which order I was in.

I am fascinated with the all-white monastic garments or habit I am wearing in my vision so I have been researching. This is what says about the different colours of monastic orders:
Very few nuns or sisters wear any habit at all since the 1960s. But before that, most religious communities and orders (and there are a lot of these) had a distinctive habit that marked which community the sister or nun belonged to. Quite a few communities wore black habits and that goes back to the very early days of monastic life in the Church when most monks and nuns were members of the Benedictine order, founded by St. Benedict of Nursia in the fifth century AD. The Benedictines, who still exist and still form a large percentage of the monastic religious out there, were pretty much the only or at least the main thing going in religious life in the Church until the middle ages when groups like the Franciscans (St. Francis of Assisi) and Dominicans (St. Dominic) came along in the 13th century. So, for a long time, black, which was decreed by the Church for most Benedictines in the 8th century, was the main colour of all religious habits. But even the Benedictines didn't all wear black. A reform of their order, the Cistercians, wore and still wear, white. Some Benedictine monks and nuns wear white, too. Some Franciscans wear black, but a lot of them wear brown or grey. Dominicans wear white with black capes and the nuns, when they are fully professed, wear black veils with white habits.

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