Happy Samhain

Today, I stood before the gods to say hello.  It hasn’t been that long since I stood in a sacred space – maybe 5 or 6 days?  But this time, I was happy and ready to celebrate today.

Today is a new year for us.  And this is my year of renewal to my faith.  This is my year of balance.

This time last year, I was lost and broken.  I had lost two loved ones and had been treated very badly by my ex.  Eleven days from now, my ex would be married to someone else, without even bothering to break up with me.  But, eleven days from now, when he got married, I took the first step and broke up with him, then met with my first “other” man.  In essence, we broke our bond that day.

Today, I took it a step further.  Standing before the gods, I removed him from my life.  Broke our bond.  I am my own person.  Whole and complete again.  And I asked for the strength to make it through the times when I’m weak and I want to contact him.

This blog post is mostly a record of my celebration.  I stepped from the shower and into a room, and said the following,

“Guardians of the (Direction), power of (Element), I call you – not cast a circle, but just to lend a listening ear.”

Moving around the room in all four directions, starting and ending in the North.

“Lord, Lady, Ancestors, I call to you – not to cast a circle, but just to lend a listening ear.”

And then I spoke for a while, about how I wanted to learn to conquer my anxieties and live a ‘quieter life’ – one where my addictions and responses to anxiety don’t rule my life quite as much as they do now.  About how I wanted to refresh my memory on formal ritual, and how I wanted to teach, and write about Wicca.  And then I thanked them all and went about my day.

I’ve quit caffeine, more or less, over the last few days; in part on purpose, but mostly because I ran out of caffeinated drinks I like and I’m too lazy to go buy more.

I’ve been songwriting, as usual.  I wrote a good one last night.  I hesitate to share, as I try to maintain my anonymity and I don’t want to help people find more about me than they should.  I have nothing to hide, of course, its just that when I look for jobs in the future, I don’t want people to write me off because of my online presence.

Anyway, that’s my life update for Samhain.  May you have a joyous and peaceful holiday.

Why You Should Become Wiccan

I can’t come to you now and preach that without Wicca, you will lose your path to God.  Nor can I tell you that you will go to hell if you choose wrong.  Wicca doesn’t operate on fear: it operates on freedom of choice and self-accountability.

I can tell you that you will take much more from this religious study than what you put into it.  You will find that the structure of Wicca, which promotes independent thought and research, helps you align your conscious thought and intuition to find answers to the tough questions in life.

The Wiccan path is not an easy one.  You will be harassed by “bible-believing Christians” who believe that you’ve sold your soul to Satan.  You’ll be harassed by other Pagans and Wiccans who become intolerant if you don’t share their beliefs.  You’ll even be harassed by atheists who believe that you’re mildly retarded for your faith in something ethereal.  You’ll watch as politicians insult or completely disregard your faith, and if Wicca gets involved in an election in your area, prepare for all sorts of degrading comments.

However.  With Wiccan practice and belief comes a set of tools that will better prepare you to face the challenges in your life.  You will gain confidence, be more grounded, and not be afraid to explore new and exciting avenues of thought.  You will acquire a new vocabulary, develop your meditation and visualization skills, and overall, live a more fulfilling life.  I see a lot of testimonies about “Why I Became Wiccan” – but I don’t see a whole lot of conversions out of Wicca, where the person in question was dedicated to the Wiccan path, and not to some jumbled up version of Wicca, Paganism, or Satanism.  I hope that sometime in the future, I will see your testimony about your religious experience and how Wicca has helped you move forward with your life.

How frequently do you interact with others in your circle? (Cast the circle thrice about)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

“Others” can mean friends or family or fellow coveners or even animals?  Do people or animals interrupt your circles, or do they add to your rituals?  Do you purposely lock any free-roaming organisms out of the room in which you practice, or do you let them watch and participate?

A Pagan Prayer For Strength

Oh, gods, its been a while
Since I’ve been before you
On my hands and knees.

Death, and pain, and suffering
Were all at my door, and angry
I turned away from you.

Please forgive me, gods,
And give me the strength to live my life
With honor and balance.

I cast my circle tonight for you
I cast to say hello again
I cast so I have a safe place to feel

I cast to honor you, gods
And renew my commitment to your ways
Where truth and balance rule

I offer you, gods,
My perfect love and perfect trust
And to you, my ancestors, the same

Fill me with strength,
And humility, and grace
And light my path back home.

Give me ways to honor you
In my work and in my home
In my thoughts and in my actions

Let me be your servant
Bless me again with your priesthood
Hold me in your arms

I am safe, and warm, and comforted
And I know that it will be alright

How does it make you feel? (Cast the circle thrice about)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

How do you feel, inside a circle, knowing that you’re “in between” the worlds and connecting with your spiritual side?  Excited?  Aroused?  Safe?  Comforted?  Do you get scared, in a circle, knowing that you’re connecting to something outside of yourself, something bigger?

Physical boundaries? (Cast the circle thrice about)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

When you’re casting a circle, do you draw your circle in chalk, or string, or tape?  What about using ritual or natural objects in the outdoors?  Do you leave evidence of your celebration behind?

Circle or Sphere? (Cast the circle thrice about)

If you’re encountering this book and want to participate: Put your responses to these questions in the comments section!  This is part of the class entitled “52 Weeks to the Wiccan Rede.”  You can find out more by clicking on “Beginning Practice.”

Do you ever think about the three-dimensional structure of your sacred circle?  Does it extend up past your ceiling, down into your basement?  What are the implications of including your upstairs neighbors in your rituals?