What does “jailbreak the sacred” even mean?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater?” When we jailbreak an idea or a tradition, we’re taking the baby out of the bathwater before we dump it. But what do we put that baby in once we’ve salvaged it? What do we do after we’ve deconstructed our beliefs?

Do we become spiritual dilettantes, sampling anything that catches our fancy? Or is there a better way to go about it reconstruction?

The process of jailbreaking the sacred stories we inherited is, quite honestly, like the process of jailbreaking a phone.

Instead of just switching platforms willy-nilly to something we like better (which is a surefire way to end up in the world of cultural appropriation), we take what we have, we dig down deep into the operating system, through the layers upon layers of proprietary programming, through everything about which we’ve been told, “well, that’s just the way it is.” In so doing we confront the problematic tangle of our inherited sacred stories and traditions, cutting through them to get to the juicy center of fullness, depth, and meaning that rests at the center of our engagement with matters of ultimate concern.

And we can do this by using practices to help us strain the baby out of that bathwater.

For some of us, that might look like taking the ethical teachings of Jesus and using tarot to examine our conscience. For others it might look like keeping the Sabbath with your kosher witch friends. For me, that looks like being a pastor, podcaster, LGBTQ+ liberationist, and professional astrologer. Spirituality in the 21st century is only getting weirder from here on out, and there’s no better time to team up with people who have walked that path before.

Every Tuesday, listen in as I sit down to talk with leaders, thinkers, practitioners, and activists about the intersection of mainstream religion and alternative spirituality. These are people like me who have experience growing up religious that they are now working to reclaim, often through avenues of different religious traditions such as Zen Buddhism, or through particular practices like astrology, magic, ritual, meditation, or otherwise. Things are going to get deliciously weird. If you’re reconstructing your own spirituality, exploring alternative ways of practice, or just want to be part of healing the world, this is the podcast for you.