Wiccan Belief, Wiccan Tradition

So, the title of the post represents some of what users have used to bring them to my site over the past week.  I can’t really emphasize anything in particular – I would recommend the links to the right for more information about Wicca in general.  Yet, I do have something interesting within my own life to share, if anyone would be willing to cock a listening ear.

The conversation began as any conversation – and lasted for a long time about secret organizations, and what Wicca would have become if all of its secrets had not been leaked.  What if we had a way to exert control over the imposters?  An interesting concept, to say the least.

But then it led to me finally asking my high priest:  Who taught you?  Who taught them?  At first, he did begin to delve into our “physical” religious history.  He told me of the two different traditions from which he was born – of the charges he was given as a third degree, and where he has gone since then.  He told me of the three of the seventy three witches at the ’74 witchmeet who were part of his magical ancestry.  He told me of his ex-wife, who nearly went crazy while subjected to all of the knowledge and mysteries of the path in three months, instead of years and years.

But the discussion took a turn while we were talking, and ended at this:

Do not allow me to tell you of those who taught me, nor allow yourself to tell others of me.  We gain our spiritual knowledge, we move along our spiritual paths not from the wisdom of humans, but from the wisdom of the universe itself.  Our teachers are not our high priests and priestesses, but rather Jesus and Allah and Buddha, Adonis and Anubis and Hecate.  Diana, Aphrodite, Ra, Odin – let these be our teachers.

Wicca is a religion.  It is a hierarchal path to gain enlightenment.  Yet going through the steps – ascending the ‘spiritual ladder’ and gaining our marks of honor are merely recognitions that we have learned *something*.

But what lies between us and God(s)?  That’s our path.  And that is the single most important thing in any discussion of religions and philosophies.


Fundie of the Week Award: Michelle Bachmann

I know the last one I found was in July, so we’re altering the name: the brand spanking new Fundie of the Month award.  I should take some time to create a little picture award to go along with it.  Then I can send it to the people/organizations in question.

Anywho, onto the award.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann gets the award, although I’m not sure if we should just commit her instead.  The congresswoman released a statement to OneNewsNow, saying

“[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she’s just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet — we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that,” says Bachmann.

Someone saved the planet over 2,000 years ago!  Have you heard the good news?

I am all about my religion creating what I believe to be right and true.  But that gives me no right to ignore current issues because my religion says that nothing except the spiritual matters.  Face it, congresswoman: if you’re unwilling to recognize current day issues and are blowing them off because “someone else saved the planet,” should you really be a politician?

Not only is that using your religion as a shield, it’s also shirking your job duties!  I don’t care if you fight either way – I’d prefer that you tried to save the planet, too – but a statement like that can be applied to anything.

“I don’t care about fuel prices…Jesus saved the world!”

“I don’t care about abortion – Jesus saved the world!”

“I don’t care about people dying in a multi billion dollar war over gas while I try to eliminate the last few polar bears on earth in a move that will lower gas prices by ten cents – in twenty years…Jesus saved the world!”

Come on, now.  Honestly?

The Need for Scholarship

Woot, I’m back guys! Bet you didn’t expect me to post today 😉

I’m writing after my week of vacation, much of which was spent reading.  I spent some time walking through the woods and figuring out what was what – I learned to identify Wild Ginger and Jerusalem Artichoke, as well as got a review of sorts on Jewelweed, Purple Loosestrife, Poison Ivy, Sensitive Fern, White Oak, Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Elm, Cottonwood…

Anyway, I’m writing to point something out: our religious books need back up.  It’s all well and good to include a bibliography, but if you don’t cite sources while writing, there is always the chance that what you’re saying is not a fact, but instead a myth perpetuated by the masses.  Sentences in books that start with, “The celts were all” really worry me, because I’m sure the Celtic culture was just as diverse as our own is.  And realizing that through my reading, it began to nag me: where did all of these assumptions come from?  And how could we, as Pagans looking to be respected in the academic, religious and spiritual circles, work towards uniformity in information?

I don’t want us to all agree on the same beliefs.  But I want us to get the facts straight.  If every single Celt that existed loved music as much as some books on Celtic Spirituality claim they did, then fine.  But I have a feeling that not everything was that hippie happiness that we imagine it to be.

Similarly, there is a lack of responsibility and credit for spells and rituals which have been circulating for several generations now.  Is Gardner responsible?  Did Cunningham create all of the things in his books?  Or did he draw from his old coven?

Should we have a Creative Commons licensed database of spells and rituals so credit can go where it is deserved?  With authors and their respective (if possible) contact information?

Should we have to delve into Richard Hutton’s history of Wicca just to retrieve one small fact?  Or should our authors be wise enough to incorporate their citations into their discussions?

Are we worse pirates than those of the music and video industries?  What can be shared and what can be copyrighted in the name of the Goddess?

Some Days, You Need To Mope

We all have our rough spots in life, and we all have those moments where all we want to do, to put it eloquently, is to crawl into a dark corner and hide from the world. No religion or spirituality can stop those feelings from at least creeping up on us occasionally.

The important thing to do when that sort of depression hits though, is to not feel guilty over that sort of feeling, because its a common human being thing.  It might be chemical or environmental, or it may be entirely psychological in nature, but regardless, you aren’t alone.

So, when one of those days creeps up on you, or a loved one, accept it.  Talk about it – with someone else, if its you; or with the person its happening to, and then just let it run its course.

Forcing yourself to be sunny and cheery will just result in a bigger crash.  Letting your mind calm down, untangle and work itself out – that’s the best solution, at least in my opinion.

But don’t let it take over your life.  If you take your twenty four hours of hiding from the world, and it isn’t enough – you do need to emerge from your shell and live your life.  Sometimes, time is the best healer.

Why do you think this problem seems to be rampant – depression, etc – in our day and age?  I have a theory.  Too much input.  With the computers and the television and the radio and the high stress jobs/school and for younger versions of adults, buses and for adults, keeping up on all our various sitcoms and bills and the practical and theoretical and the fun and the family and god knows what else.  Too much input.  On an average night hanging out with my friends, we will watch youtube, play video games, watch a movie, drive around with an iPod dictating our music – there’s never any stop for my senses, which have to experience the general temperature and humidity, as well as varying sounds, a blinking and flashing lights from videogames or movies…

If we lived simpler lives, we wouldn’t have this problem, I think.  But we can’t live simpler lives – easily – in the United States.  You can use me as an example – for work, I manage two main websites right now, am programming one of them as-we-speak; i’ve got plans going for 3-4 other website design projects.  On the freelance side, I’m doing freelance video reviews, articles for one place, exclusive content for another, blogging here(for no pay), blogging on another(for pay), I run the Order…And I also at least try to maintain the house(in the summer) while my parents are at work – I’m combating my two dogs and two cats who need constant attention, my male family members who are constantly around the house(one of which does not even live here)…

Granted, I may just be an overachiever, but many, many people live the same way – juggling a million things at once because they have to or because they can.  And it does wear on us.

I recognize that today is Lammas/Lughnasadh, and this post is both seemingly endless and without a point.  But paganism can’t get any more practical than this:  Know when to take a break.

We close ourselves off from the Gods in our rush to be constantly doing so damn much.  Open yourself up today, and hear their message.

And that, is the best advice I can give ;-).

What You Get Is Not What You Expected

Again with a shorter post today, as I don’t really have any divine inspiration.  But, I’d like to talk a minute about spontaneity in life.  Many people accept understanding of this matter with various explanations: “Everything happens for a reason”; “There are no coincidences”; etc.

For us, we explain it with the interaction between thought, will, and action in relation to the Universe.  In addition, the more that we are aware of the relationship between those three and the universe, the higher chance there is of any of those three affecting the Universe – essentially, pulling its strings to make way for our thought/will/action.

But the Universe has its own plans for us, too.  And sometimes, it is not the wisest to carve a path through our lives, but instead follow where the opportunities open.  That is how people start with a botany degree and end up working for the government in finances.

Which is how, today, after stopping by my college to meet with my boss and say hi to a few professors, I ended up with a housesitting job for the middle two weeks of August.  And a free lunch.

Beat that for random.

Blessed Be!

A Little Bit Of Crazy

I know I’m a little late on this particular post, but to be honest I couldn’t think of anything to write, and I did not wake up until 12:30 this afternoon after going to bed at 3am.  Not the healthiest of lifestyle choices, but sometimes, especially with such a non-structured schedule, it works.

Anyway, I keep hearing the same themes from my friends and family in reference to my cycling habits.  The words “crazy” and “insane” come up quite often, and although I know they aren’t too serious, after a while it does jab a tiny little place in my heart called “submerged feelings of inadequacy” which we all, to some degree, possess.

I spent much of my younger years trying to “fit in”, which was rather difficult, given that I was sort of steered along into skipping two grades in math and one in foreign language, rendering my middle school years a disaster.  I spent more time in the library of our school, waiting until a period for a different grade started or ended, than I ever should have.  I loved my school career, but I never fit in with my friends, at least academically.  At best, I was closest to the six people that were in the same boat as I – in a class of 300 – academically.

When I hit high school, it got a little bit better, despite not sharing a whole hell of a lot of classes with my peers.  Granted, I took the AP Calculus exam in eleventh grade and was basically in college my senior year, but I always had my eyes towards college where I could start fresh.

Then, I got to college and basically, the same thing happened.  Too far ahead (31 credits – I went in as a sophomore) and I eventually gave up on being normal, as I tend to attract strange and be an overachiever in my own fashion.  The problem(or great thing) is that I get urges.  And when I get an urge to do something, I do it.

The urge from 15 on was, “bike along the erie canal across new york state.”  And since I did that last year(and again this year) my newest urge has been, “bicycle across the country, from washington to maine.”  It alternates with, “bicycle ride across every state.”

And so, it’s been decided.  Two years from now, I will bicycle across the country.  The questions now are,

  • Will it have a purpose other than my spiritual fulfillment?
  • Will anyone be accompanying me?
  • what will I be bringing with me?
  • What route will I take?
  • How long will it take?

The first and the second are the most important, in my opinion.  Should I be supporting a cause?  It I support a cause, will that take away from my own spiritual fulfillment and experience as I am looking everywhere with one purpose: to get money for (cause here).

Anyway, my entire social circle is rather upset right now, because they can’t seem to understand why I would want to spend more than $100 on a bicycle.  I’m looking at purchasing a road bike, for better speed and better quality.  My bike is a little better than a mountain bike, a hybrid from Raleigh a few years ago – the c200.  But I want to take my hobby to the next step.

Is something crazy only when your social circle doesn’t agree with your choice?

They all know that I’m pagan, not-Christian, etc.  My parents have settled with, “It’s a religion and she’s happy” and claim blissful ignorance over any details.  Were my religion to come up in a conversation between them and others, I’m sure their response would rate somewhere along, “Oh, she’s into that nature stuff…” or something along those lines.

My friends accept my religion too, but some of them do refer to me by the various names – nature girl, crazy pagan, you/that witch, etc.

And so, my seemingly meaningless post comes to a round-a-bout end: religious tolerance.

It’s not always about the big legal battles.  Sometimes, it’s about the little things too.

Number Five of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time

Well, to keep in line with my updates, today should be the day that I am bicycling from Seneca Falls, NY, to Syracuse, NY.

Number 5: You Will Never Break The Habit Of Using “Jesus Christ!” While Cursing

I know I haven’t. And it’s not just that. It’s basic Christian references in every day life. If you’re trying really hard to, I suppose you could. But what it boils down to is that the American culture goes hand in hand with its Christian undertones. We can fight it all we want, choosing to use the German words for “Bless You” when someone sneezes, but all that really does is make you feel better.

You have to remember that we’re not meant to be a mainstream religion and a mainstream movement. Would you really want the entire world going “Goddess Bless!” when someone sneezed? Or sayings, “merry part!” as a goodbye? That is our culture, and we should use it when we’re among friends.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of “taking the Lord’s name in vain” when you stub your toe. This really falls under the ‘practical’ heading of paganism. We are not always what our culture makes us, but much of the time, little things like that get into our heads and can’t get out. When your boss, your coworkers, your family use the expressions that may have come from Christianity, or Judaism, or any other religion, but many, many people use them, it is no longer an exclusively religious expression. It has become, through mainstream acceptance, a cultural expression, thereby alleviating the guilt when a pagan(or a jew or a hindu or a muslim) yells “Jesus F$%$%$% Christ!”

Number One of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Two of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Three of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Four of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Five of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Six of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Seven of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Eight of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Nine of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.