Although CUSP incorporates beliefs and practices from many other religions, it is considered to be a spiritual path in its own right.  The use of practices and language that are specific to other paths can cause confusion and this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is designed to address questions our readers may have regarding CUSP and to clarify any confusion that may exist as a result.

Does CUSP Have a “Primary” Religion It Follows?

No.  CUSP is a spiritual template onto which any religion may layer. The only requirement is the belief in a Divine being or beings and that this Divinity manifests through natural channels such as earth, air, fire, water, stones, colors, plants, and yes, people. If you believe that God, the Goddess, the Universe, the Creator lives in all of those natural expressions and inside yourself, CUSP will work for you.

One of the greatest challenges that we have encountered as a result of bringing this path to the world is the fact that we utilize premises from what could be called “warring” religions.  Sadly, there is a great deal of animosity that exists between Pagan paths and Christianity, for instance.  Eastern religions have fallen under a great deal of persecution and denouncement given the political climate of our times.  Native American practices are quickly becoming lost to our modern world.

When we studied these religions, we found them all to be very vital and effective ways for people to reach out to God and to bring The Divine into their lives.  We honor any path that brings a person closer to God and puts them in touch with their best self.  We find it sad that these seemingly opposing paths are unable to embrace their commonalities and celebrate the differences that make each one special.  One does not have to share the specific beliefs of a spiritual path to honor the effect they have on another person.

Throughout the pages of this site, you will often hear references to all of the above mentioned faiths.  None is intended to be held out as superior to another or to be “the one way.”  We believe that each person has a way that is appropriate and perfect for them to connect with God and this might change for them throughout their lives.  Just as different people speak different languages, we believe God also communicates with people through different languages, identified in the various religions.

You Frequently Mention “God.”  Does This Mean You See God As Male?

The CUSP premise is that God and all that is considered to be God are genderless, ageless and without definition by human understanding.  God is neither male or female, but is both at the same time.  CUSP believes that placing limitations on the ability of God is not for humans to do.  If God can appear as a burning bush or an ass, God can appear as a woman/Goddess, a Saint or in any other form.  If God made us in His own image, then God is both male and female.  When, in the context of this web site, the word “God,” is used, it refers to the All, the Unknowable, the power that humans view as The Divine.  It does NOT designate a MALE or PATRIARCHAL God.  Fortunately, the ability to interact with God does not require an understanding of God, just a willingness to reach out and experience God.

How Can You Be Sure That The “God” You Are Experiencing Through CUSP Is The Same As The Christian God?

Honestly, anyone who has truly been in the presence of God and experienced the spiritual ecstasy that comes from knowing God will attest that it is impossible to mistake that feeling for something else or something else for that feeling.  Being with God is a unique and breath-taking experience and not one that can ever be confused with anything else.  Whether you encounter this feeling through Christianity or Paganism or Judaism or through any other path to God, when you feel it, you know it.  It is completely unmistakable.  Those who would ask this question clearly have not yet found the way to be in the presence of God or there would be no need to ask.

That is how we know.  God is God.  Period.  The paths to God are many.  When Christ said, “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions,” we believe it is an allegory for the many “homes” God/Christ prepares for us to engage The Divine.

God Has Been Addressed, What About Satan/The Devil?

Each person who comes to any spiritual path has their own preconceived ideas about the powers of evil and their presence and impact to the world.  CUSP is a path to God and to the expression of God’s presence through the elements and cycles of nature.  It is not about engaging Satan or any other negative entities.  Within the concepts of CUSP, the only negative energies that are engaged are those within ourselves as humans.  We believe that each person has their own demons and devils inside of them and it is our own connection to God that will give us the tools needed to best those obstacles to being our best self.  As such, we leave the ideology regarding negative entities to the individual’s own beliefs.

What If I Plant Something And It Doesn’t Happen?

As with all things CUSP, let’s examine how it pertains to agriculture.  If a person plants a seed, nurtures it and sees it through to fruition, there is never a guarantee that it will actually yield fruit or that it will come up at all.  We have an expectation that it will because that is what typically happens.  The same can be said with CUSP.  The most common reason why a harvest does not yield its produce is because the practitioner insisted on enacting their own will instead of heeding the redirects and messages to the contrary from God. Another reason “crops” fail is that the human does not do their part and “act in accord,” but instead, believes God will send the rain, God will send the sun, and the plants will grow without effort on their part.

Our own greatest good is a huge part of the CUSP harvest cycle. God/The Universe can see our life progression panoramically, whereas we can only see up close, from where we are standing at the time.  Often, what we think we want and choose to work our will to manifest is not in our best interest for reasons that we cannot see and do not yet understand.  That being the case, we often have a “failsafe” with God that prevents manifestation of situations that are genuinely not in our best interest.

A similar situation is when we plant a goal and it ultimately manifests in a way we did not expect.  In those cases, it is always best that we go back to the exact wording of our goal at the time of planting and see how the unexpected result applies.

While we may be, in good faith, planting what we feel is best circumstance to better our lives, we may be prevented from the manifestation of that reality because of factors unseen to us.  As long as we are acting in good spirit and are genuinely focused on our own personal and positive development, we can be assured that the outcome of our actions, whatever it might be, will be a very good thing.  It has been our experience over many, many collective years of practice that “the Lord helps those who help themselves.”  God appreciates when we move forward positively and confidently and is more than happy to assist us in our evolution on all levels, even if sometimes, that assistance takes the form of saying, “No” or “Not yet.”

What If Something Bad Happens Because Of What I Planted?

One important tenet to remember that sounds naive, but has proven true over and over is, “Nothing that happens at harvest is a ‘bad’ thing.”  “Bad” is something that is subjective and as always, the results of our planting should always be brought back to what we actually planted.  Often, what looks or feels to us to be “bad” is actually for our greatest good, but is temporarily in disguise until we see the complete unfolding of the harvest.

For instance, let’s say that a woman plants “true love” in hopes of finding happiness in her marriage.  As a result, she loses an unfaithful wretch of a husband who she truly loves in order to clear the way for her true sweetheart to find his way to her.  Mind you, she will be devastated to see her marriage end, especially if she has invested a great deal of work into the marriage, pulling more than her share of the weight.  To her, this is a very negative result and NOT what she envisioned when she planted and it is likely she will feel that CUSP failed her.  Once, however, the debris is cleaned and Mr. Wonderful comes into her life, she can ultimately look back and see that she harvested exactly what she envisioned, even though the path to get to it was not easy and at the time, seemed like a “bad” thing.

Sometimes, we have to go through pain and loss to actually get to where we need to be. In that respect, events that we label as “bad” are truly blessings in disguise.

Part of the energy of CUSP lies is in fully trusting that we are moving unerringly toward our greatest good, whether the road is smooth or rocky.  When times are hard, we hold our head high, take care of troubles one or two or a hundred at a time and just keep on walking, confident that at the end, it will all be worth it.  There is no room for doubt; only complete and total faith.

What Do I Do If I Live in an Area That Does Not Have the Standard Agricultural Climates?

It is up to individual preference whether or not to modify the timeline of your CUSP practices to your own geographical specifics.  We keep to the schedule, even if there is hard pack snow on the ground at Spring Equinox.  Our feeling is that it is the energy of the day, not the actually ability to plant, that dictates the ritual.   Some folks are more in tune with how the world outside “feels” as compared to what the calendar says.  Follow what your spirit calls you to do.

How Does CUSP View the Concept of Karma?

We do believe that ”what goes around, comes around” and that “like attracts like.”  What you put out there, will come back to you.  This idea is espoused in The Bible (“Bread thrown upon the waters of life will come back to you threefold”), in the principles explained by The Laws of Attraction and most recently, by the book “The Secret.”  In terms of the “threefold law,” we embrace the philosophy of author, Raven Grimassi, who suggests that what we put out into the world returns to us threefold in Mind, Body and Spirit (rather than three times as bad or good).

We also believe that whatever you send out into the world, whether it is in your day to day behavior, your beliefs or in the planting and manifestation you do, spills out onto you as well, no matter what it is.  If your intent is to bring positive manifestation into the world, then that will be visited onto you as well.  “Like attracts like.”  If, even in good heart, you invoke justice in a situation, you will likely find yourself taken to task on any injustices you have inflicted.  If you attempt to manifest a negative situation, you should be prepared to stand up against the same situation in your own life, depending on what it is that you have brought into the world.

The Bible asks us, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”  A key contributor to CUSP’s development, Kathy Hardeman, shared with us a wonderful, all encompassing thought in saying, “God is efficient.”  So many aspects of CUSP speak to the complete and perfect efficiency of God and this is definitely one of those moments.  This premise tells us that before we take it upon ourselves to use the CUSP cycles and practices to “fix” someone else, we should make absolutely certain that we, ourselves, are completely above reproach, not just in the department of life we are addressing, but in all things.  Since that is not usually possible, our recommendation is to focus the practices of CUSP on ourselves and our way of being in the world rather than directing it to others.

Does This Eliminate the Concept of Protecting Ourselves or Exacting Revenge?

As rational, thinking human beings, one of the tasks that is thrust upon us in daily life is the concept of discernment.  The reality is that not all people in the world are what would be called “good folks” and there are times when we are not just paranoid, we are actually being attacked from the outside.  CUSP does not demand that a person roll over and take no action when they are under attack of some kind of needing to be protected.  It is certainly not outside of CUSP beliefs to pray to God for protection and rectification of a hurtful or destructive situation.  It is also wholly appropriate to actively work toward positive resolution to horrible circumstances using CUSP practices.  The heart of this question comes to intent.  If your desire in praying or working (and CUSP work has been called “proactive praying”) is to bring harm to the person who is hurting you, then this negative intent – whether it feels warranted or not – is the energy that will permeate the work and spill over onto the practitioner.  If, however, the person generalizes their intent to encompass the “best possible and most positive and prompt resolution,” then only positive energies will prevail.  Although it is well within normal human response to want to control the situation and steer it toward our own favor, when we take the opportunity to rise above that basic instinct and instead work toward the greatest good of all, we are working from a place of hope and positivity rather than anger and revenge.  Anger and revenge, in the “like attracts like” premise, only breeds more anger and revenge.  Demanding more of ourselves in this respect can only create a healthier and more positive outcome.

The CUSP Spiral of The Year To Manifest Change Involves A Full Year of Practice.  What If I Need Something Now?

The CUSP Spiral of the Year works from December through the Harvest time to bring about positive manifestation and personal, forward evolution in a person’s life.  The idea is that as humans, it takes time for us to integrate the psychological preparedness to welcome long term, major life changes and the CUSP path allows for the gradual acceptance and manifestation of those developments.  As humans, we require time to adapt to change and because we work on a linear time line, we often have to wait for connections to be made, changes to occur and events to unfold.  By working over a series of months, we have time to adapt to the coming change and since we are asking for a BIG change, we have time to invest a lot of energy on an ongoing basis into the unfolding of the goals.  That allows for a more gentle, effective unfolding of major life change.

Life is complicated, however, and sometimes, we need money for the electric bill or a job or even a parking place right away.  Not all needs fit into a year’s time frame and must be manifested right away.  Our yearly harvests are for major life change goals, not just simple changes in our lives.  In CUSP, we also work with the cycles of the moon, which allow for manifestation within a month’s time or “Rut Now Work,” the things you need “Rut now.”  (OK, I’m from the South and it makes sense there).

Energy Magic  is a book written by the creators of CUSP that details how to use Bio-Universal energy to achieve results for more immediate needs than the long-term goals of the CUSP harvest.

Isn’t It Unethical to Use a Spiritual Path For Personal Gain?

Absolutely not!  One of the primary premises of CUSP is that we are moving toward our own greatest good.  For most people, having financial security and relaxation from money stresses is an important factor in our ability to enjoy life.  Having someone in our life who loves us in a reciprocal and fundamentally rewarding way is often critical to our happiness.  Having a job we love and spending our days in activities that allow us to feel good and positive about our productivity and our contribution to the world is vital to our self esteem and our ability to relate to others with confidence and joy.  The more we are positively contributing to the world around us, the more we further the critical mass toward being positive as a whole.  Our overall happiness (as opposed to our greed or petulance) only serves as a beneficial influence to society and to the evolution of the species itself.  God want us to be happy and celebrate in our own joy and personal success!  Using the CUSP path to embrace our connectivity to the Divine and better our lives is a positive and wondrous affirmation of our faith in God and in our own abilities.  The Universe will step forward and meet us on any level that we choose to engage.  As long as we will put forth the effort, spiritually and mundanely, God will be there to assist, guide and empower us.