If you are all really paying attention to these blogs, you may have noticed that I didn’t begin the blog with my usual greeting. I found out through a friend that “Merry Meet” is a Wiccan greeting. I am beginning to try to explore Witchcraft outside the ‘confines’ of Wicca. I owe more to Scott Cunningham than Gerald Gardner. I believe that there is some overlap between Wicca and Witchcraft but there are also many differences.
For example, take the Charge of the Goddess which was invented by Dorren Valiente. This does not in any way reflect the true messages of the Mother Goddess. Tthe Goddess has more to do than to worry if we are naked and getting mosquito bitten, worshipping the Goddess skyclad. I don’t buy that at all. The Mother Goddess is keeping track of wasp’s nests and beaver homes. She has a lot to do. Stone, wood, fire and water are her domain.
The Mother Goddess holds everything in balance. The Earth will always have balance. Life, death and rebirth is the eternal cycle. One enters the dark labyrinth of her womb, her cauldron, and re-emerges into a fresh raw existence. There is no hell and no horrifying specter eager to curse you forever. The Goddess awaits all who passes on in her dark embrace in the labyrinth, where you are reincarnated. The dark Crone Goddess Hel was the daughter of Loki, queen of the dead and the Underworld. Odin gave her the underworld realm to rule over. She took in all those who died, except those who died in battle.
I have seen earthbound spirits myself with my own eyes. The last time was and not trying to be deliberately humorous, but last Samhain, or Halloween, to the muggle world. So it could be said that some unfortunate souls find themselves trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. They need to cross into the light.
I follow my spiritual path of Witchcraft. To me, it is a way of life. I know the power and lore of herbs. I burn candles for specific purposes and perform Rituals, cast spells and honor the lunar esbats and Sabbats. I honor my deities Cerridwen and Cernunnos, Brighid & Lugh. I love watching my garden grow into floral beauty. I visit the shining lake not far from my home to watch the ducks and loons fly over the surface of the water.
My early memories of bonding with Nature (the realm of the Goddess of old), was harvesting carrots with my Mother as a child and going on field trips to lakes and other places of Nature. We have as a society since the Industrial Revolution removed ourselves from Nature, as if it was suddenly a vile threat. Poisons were dumped into lakes and oceans and garbage crammed into the life-giving earth. Pollution replaced communing with Nature. Pollution became commonplace as well as poisoning and developing rural areas into urban ‘civilization’. I recently had raccoons climbing the trees near my apartment. We keep infringing on their territory then get angry when they show up on our doorstep. If we pause to think, we stole their land. All they want is food. Forests are manicured into strip malls. The forests were their homes.
A witch honors her connection to the earth. I feel and have always felt a strong connection. I just didn’t know I was a witch then. My besom, censer, cauldron, chalice, candles and holders are tools to allow me to merge with the Goddess and the Other side. I really don’t need those tools as all it takes is one’s will, intent and magic. The tools are great to have and I keep occasionally cleansing them with sage, water and salt to purify their energies.
The cunning folk of old used herbs and the local flora & fauna for their practices. They rubbed flying ointments on their bodies and broomsticks to make them feel as if they were flying. They rode through the fields of their crops, to bless them and they made love in the fields to bless the crops with fertility magic. Back then, they didn’t have the corporate pharmaceutical companies to help with headaches or pregnancy. The mortality rate was higher. Life was precious.
They also passed their cows & other livestock through the fires to purify them of negativity. The livestock was sacred to them. Without that, they starved. The grains they grew were sacred and they had many rituals to honor their gods of grains and fires and the sun to ensure the success of their crops. The forces of nature and the change of the seasons were a mystery to them. They believed the gods and the goddesses of the grains and the sun had an influence on whether they starved or not.
My altar is indoors and rests below a window where I am blessed enough to be greeted by the occasional beautiful Full Moon. I cleanse my crystals on an amethyst cluster there. Some of this may seem Wiccan. It is what I have found works for me. That is what finding a witch’s own spiritual path truly entails.