Spectrum of Faiths
Acadiana Spiritual Association represents individuals from a wide range of faiths
that are non-traditional for this region. These faiths include reconstruction of
classical polytheistic religions, neo-pagan paths, new age movements, magical
systems, syncretism, eastern philosophies, and indigenous or tribal traditions.
Classical Polytheistic Reconstruction
Kemeticism is the contemporary revival of Ancient Egyptian religion. While there is a focus on worship of the Egyptian deities, the main focus of Kemeticism is to live your life within ma’at, translated as truth, justice, and honor.
Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe and life work. The word Kabbalah, meaning “to receive,” is the study of how to receive fulfillment in our lives. The Zohar is the basis of kabbalah.
The Hellenic religion is a traditional polytheistic religion and way of life, revolving around the Greek Gods, primarily focused on the Twelve Olympians, and embracing ancient Hellenic values and virtues.
- Cultus Deorum Romanorum
This tradition is also called "Religio Romana". It is the reconstruction, revival, and practice of the traditional religion of the Romans. It focuses is on the Dii Consentes, the twelve major deities, six gods and six goddesses, in the pantheon of Ancient Rome.
- Natib Qadish
Natib Qadish is a modern polytheistic religion that venerates the ancient deities of Canaan and strives to understand the ancient cultural context and religious practices in which these deities were honored.
Ásatrú is a form of Germanic neo-paganism which developed in the 1970s. It focuses on historical Norse paganism of the Viking Age as described in the Eddas, but also includes "Northern European Heathenry" not limited to a specific historical period.
House of the North of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The House of the North seeks to unify persons spiritually inspired by the culture of ancient Europe. We will promote the ideals of honor, industry, and fidelity to support the well-being of our local community though charitable work, outreach, and education. While we are a “Church” in the legal sense, we hereby refer to ourselves as a “House”. Those who come to us in good faith, with honor, will be regarded as family.
Wicca is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion. It was introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner. It draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan and 20th century hermetic motifs for its theological structure and ritual practice.
- Keepers of the Hearth of Broussard, Louisiana
Keepers of the Hearth (KOTH) is a Lafayette-based, eclectic Wiccan coven focusing on the values of family and home life. The Hearth Tradition focuses on Greco-Egyptian deities, but is in not limited to this pantheon. They are also a very active group in the area! Their website offers information on membership, the focus and values of their tradition, and events hosted by this coven. This group also hosts public rituals for some of the Sabbats. This would be a wonderful opportunity to meet the coven and discuss the group!
- Eternal Breathe Circle of Lafayette, Louisiana
Founded in 1994, Eternal Breath Circle is the smaller, sister coven of the Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church (CPWC), an eclectic Wiccan Coven based out of New Orleans. The Lafayette circle is offering classes, but you will have to check with the organization to see when the next round of classes begins! The website gives information on membership, the organization’s history, and the coven’s goals. This group also holds public rituals for some Sabbats. This would be a wonderful time to meet the members and discuss the organization.
Druidry is a form of modern spirituality that generally promotes harmony and worship of nature and respect for all beings. The core principle of Druidry is respect and veneration of nature. Another belief amongst Druids is the veneration of ancestors, particularly those who belonged to prehistoric societies.
Highland Oak Nemeton of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Highland Oak Nemeton is a Grove affiliated with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) . As a fully functioning Grove, they hold monthly meetings, celebrate the eight seasonal festivals, and can also offer formal initiations and other rites-of-passage ceremonies.
Hermeticism comprises beliefs and practices whose purpose is the influencing of the world by means of contact with the heavenly forces. The Hermetic tradition is based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus and claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine which affirms that a single, true theology exists which is present in all religions and was given by God to man. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn greatly influenced Hermeticism today.
Thelema is a religion that was developed by the early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley. He believed he was a prophet of the Aeon of Horus, based upon a spiritual experience that he and his wife, Rose Edith, had in Egypt. By his account, a "praeterhuman" being named Aiwass contacted him and dictated a text known as The Book of the Law. The Thelemic pantheon includes a number of deities focusing primarily on a trinity of deities: Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Camp-in-Formation, Ordo Templi Orientis of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
This group is run by the appointed Camp-In-Formation Organizer of the Ordo Templi Orientis in Baton Rouge. They work in close alliance with the Alombrados Oasis of OTO in New Orleans and make monthly commutes to enjoy their fraternity, workshops and performances of the Gnostic Mass. In addition to this, they meet once or twice monthly in Baton Rouge for rookie classes on Aleister Crowley, magick, gnosticism, neo-hermiticism and the principles of The Book of the Law.
New Age Movements
Eckankar teaches that the Soul is on a journey of Self- and God-Realization. The Soul unfolds spiritually via karma and reincarnation. Spiritual unfoldment can be accelerated through conscious contact with the ECK, Divine Spirit. Contact with Divine Spirit can be made via the Spiritual Exercises of ECK and the guidance of the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. You can actively explore the spiritual worlds through Soul Travel, dreams, and other spiritual techniques. Jesus is viewed as a messenger of God who serves as the spiritual guide for Christians, as spiritual teachers and saints have done for other groups throughout time.
Louisiana Spiritual Experiences of Opelousas, Louisiana
This group explores God working in everyday life and how one can have a greater experience of God's presence and discover the next spiritual steps. This group is hosted and sponsored by Eckankar in Louisiana. Eckankar is an ancient spiritual teaching and a modern - day religion that offers spiritual techniques and resources for an individual to discover truth for themselves.
- Hare Krishna
Its core beliefs are based on traditional Indian scriptures, such as the the Bhagavad-gita. Devotees follow a disciplic line of Gaudiya Bhagavata Vaishnavas, worship Krishna as the highest form of God, and believe Radha represents Krishna's divine female counterpart, the original spiritual potency and the embodiment of divine love.
An eclectic spirituality which focuses on worship of the “watchers,” as described by Enoch. It includes deification of the ascended masters and veneration of ancestors. The primary focus is ascension.
- Herbalistic Witchcraft
Herbalistic Witchcraft refers to lineages of ritual magic, spellcraft, devotional mysticism, potions, and knowledge of herbal healing.
Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the evocation and commanding of various spirits. It is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, who claimed that their information, including the revealed Enochian language, was delivered to them directly by various angels.
- Ceremonial Magic
Ceremonial magic a broad term used in the context of Hermeticism or Western esotericism to encompass a wide variety of long, elaborate, and complex rituals of magic. It is named as such because the works included are characterized by ceremony and myriad necessary accessories to aid the practitioner. It can be seen as an extension of ritual magic, and in most cases is synonymous with it. Popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it draws on such schools of philosophical and occult thought as Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian magic, Thelema, and the magic of various grimoires.
- Chaos Magic
Chaos magic is a school of the modern magical tradition which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems and the creation of new and unorthodox methods. Chaos magicians believe that belief is a tool; therefore, specific rituals are not necessary. Intent is more important than “doing.”
Voodoo describes a set of spiritual folkways which originated from the traditions of the African diaspora and syncretized with the Catholicism and folk Francophone culture of south Louisiana. It emphasizes the use of gris-gris, voodoo queens, Hoodoo occult paraphernalia, and Li Grand Zombi.
Santería is a religion of African origin influenced by and syncretized with Roman Catholicism. Santaría beliefs in a universal spirit that is all and is the source of all things. It places emphasis on the veneration of the Orishas, African deities syncretized with the Catholic Saints. It is highly ritualistic and includes possessions, known as an Asiento.
Gnosticism is the belief that the material world was created by the Demiurge should be shunned and the spiritual world should be embraced. Gnostic ideas influenced many ancient religions which teach that gnosis may be reached by practicing philanthropy to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence, and diligently searching for wisdom by helping others.
- Inclusive Celtic Christian Church
The Inclusive Celtic Church is a small denomination in the Independent Sacramental Movement. As an “inclusive” church, we welcome all people, however they identify, and wherever they are on their spiritual journey, to have a home in our community. We look to the early Celtic Christians and how their teachings and practices still resonate today. We care for, and seek the face of God in, the created world around us. We believe that belonging comes before believing and seek to offer hospitality to all. We believe that all are created in God’s image, born with original blessing, rather than original sin.
Vedism is a reform movement of Hinduism which focuses on the the teachings of the Vedas, the four most sacred writings of Hinduism, and a return to ancient forms of practice absent from modern Hinduism. Practitioners of Vedism typically are not Indian or part of Indian communities.
- Mahayana Buddhism
Mahayana refers to the path of the Bodhisattva seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayana", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle". A bodhisattva who has accomplished this goal is called a samyaksa?buddha, or "fully enlightened Buddha". A samyaksa?buddha can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment. Mahayana Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be attained in a single lifetime, and this can be accomplished even by a layperson.
- Katog Ratna Ling
Katog Choling Tibetan Cultural Center at 901 East Saint Mary Blvd in Lafayette was founded by Khentrul Lodrö Thaye Rinpoche in 2004 to provide a place for spiritual practice and Tibetan cultural activities. Based on the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, the dharma center has weekly meditations on Bodhichitta and Heart Sutra. Monthly events include the Twenty-one Taras Tsog. Classes are held regularly to study the dharma teachings of Khentrul Rinpoche. The Lafayette center serves as a hub for students of Vajrayana Buddhism in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, however anyone seeking a spiritual path is welcome.
- Phuoc Minh Monastery
The Vietnamese Sangha Congregation in America, Phuoc Minh Monastery was established in 2010 at 7311 West Congress Street in Duson. At the entrance of the monastery, there you can see two white lion statues. On the left is the Maitreya Buddha statue, and on the right is the Avalokitesvara Boddhisattva statue. There is also Deer Park where Shakyamuni Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.
- Temple Tinh Do
This Vietnamese Buddhist Temple is located at 246 Bourque Road in Lafayette, Louisiana.
- Theravada Buddhism
Theravada is the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism. Adherents believe that insight must come from the aspirant's experience, critical investigation, and reasoning instead of by blind faith. Spiritual power derived from the observance of Buddhist precepts and rituals is employed in attempting to appease local nature spirits. Many restrictions observed by rural Buddhist monks are derived not from the orthodox Vinaya, but from taboos derived from the practice of folk magic. Astrology, numerology, and the creation of talismans and charms also play a prominent role in Theravada.
Indigenous / Tribal Tradition
- North American Traditions
These religions are extremely diverse. Some are unique to an individual Native American tribe, while others are practiced by a wide range of tribes, mostly notably, the pan-Indian Native American Church. Native American religions are very closely connected to the land in which Native Americans dwell and the supernatural. Most address the following areas of supernatural concern: an omni-present, invisible universal force, pertaining to the "three 'life crises' of birth, puberty, and death", spirits, visions, the medicine people and communal ceremony. Native American spiritualities are often characterized by animism or panentheism, with a strong emphasis on the importance of personal spirituality and its interconnectivity with one's own daily life, and a deep connection between the natural and spiritual 'worlds'.
Mexicayotl is a movement reviving the indigenous religion, philosophy, and traditions of ancient Mexico amongst the Mexican people. Mexicatoyl revives several categories of gods: the cultural gods, the nature gods, the gods of creation, the gods of pulque and excess, the gods of maize and fertility, the gods of death and the underworld, and the trade gods. Deity impersonation as well as the reenactments of myth are believed to be the actual gods and myth reoccurring in that moment. Those acting as gods are often venerated as the god themselves. Belief in the afterlife is a central idea to the Aztec religion.