2/23/08

The Beloved and Betrothed.

Moon: Waning Storm Moon, Gibbious
Moon Sign: Virgo
Weather: Cold, partially cloudy with high thin clouds predominant at the moment, light breezes
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Some may question how love fits into the life of witches. For some witches, their relationships are monogamous and for others they're polygamous. Social pressure around us frequently encourages us to remain in monogamous relationships. Our hearts may call us in other directions and we may even find ourselves left in a state of conflict.

Here, I need to take a moment to remind any and all Readers, the perspective of witchcraft varies from coven to coven and from tradition to tradition. I also feel it wise to remind you all that the ethics and belief system of witchcraft are different from Christianity and generally those espoused by the population at large of the community where in we live.

This reminder given, I ask that any and all who are in such a state of conflict and practice witchcraft take a moment to look at the things we uphold as holy. We uphold life in all of it's mewling, puking glory to be holy. We uphold love to be holy, even as conflicted and confusing it may be. And, we up hold the body to be holy. In this respect, why must we constrain ourselves to love in any form?

If we feel that monogamy is the correct relationship for us, then we shall engage in it. If we feel that polyamory is correct for us, then we shall engage in it. What is vital here is to be responsible in this setting, for we can not say that we are acting with love and reverence if we are reckless. Our lover(s) must be informed and understand the relationship. This must be a mutual thing, for one person can not be polyamorous and the other monogamous in a given relationship with out a great deal of difficulty if this is not agreed upon. As such, I present the following suggestions:

  1. Regularly check with the person whom you are romantically involved with if they are comfortable, happy, or feel safe. If any of these are not so, pause and determine why. Address the problem and then plan how to proceed forward.
  2. Make certain that all parties with whom you are intimate are in good health. If they are not in good health, take proper measure to ensure the health and safety of yourself and them. This is a form of respect and reverence for the other person(s) involved and the acts you engage in.
  3. Do not do anything that makes you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or pained in any fashion. These feelings are warnings that something is wrong, so be aware of them. Do communicate them to the people around you. Pause and determine what the cause of this is. Address the problem, and then plan how to proceed forward.
  4. Make a point of regularly expressing the affection you feel for the people you love. The more you express your affection, the more it will be expressed in return. Check to make sure that you are conveying it with the appropriate methods (those that make the target of your expression aware of your feelings in a manner that is safe and they are comfortable with, above all be respectful).
If you look, you will see that there are two themes in my four points of advice. Open and honest communication is one theme. The second is respect. With out these, no amount of love will permit a relationship to be strong. A strong relationship is healthy. These two things are required to maintain the health of your relationship. The more people you add into a relationship, the more this is needed.

Now, to return to my earlier theme: what is the role of love in the life of a witch?

Our romantic pairings (or other groupings) is but one of many expressions of love. Love is in many respects the basis of our actions. This is not in the sense of the Christian community's abstract unconditional love of all. Though it is akin to it in some respects. The love a witch feels is first a love of themselves. This is not narcissism. This love is what's known by many as self-respect. It is here that many, many of our actions are rooted. To disrespect oneself is to disrespect one's divine potential. It is the same as spitting in the face of one's own mother. An act that is distasteful and insulting on a most basic level.

While we all of our struggles with this, we must strive to continually express to ourselves how much we are loved and worthy of love. All are deserving of love. And love has no limitations on it. All love is unconditional. Limitations come from one's efforts to conduct themselves in a manner that will promote love to flourish, much like pruning a rose bush will prove helpful to it's health. Just as love is unconditional, we must recognize that the object of love is not fixed.

This is a point of difference between Christians and witches. We do not fix our hearts upon one thing, for we recognize that love will wax and wane. It is an emotion that we feel to varying degrees of force. We do not strive to express it at full force all the time to all that we possibly can. It is not possible for most to accomplish simply due to the limitations of their lives. Those who can accomplish it are often tormented by the fact that others do not feel it as they do and agonize over how to express it.

In this, we also recognize that relationships are something we choose and engage in on a basis that extends beyond love. Our relationships are also based in our choices. Long term relationships serve a need that is greater then just love, though none is willing to admit it. We may find that we do not desire a life with out a given person in it. As such, we seek to ally ourselves with them in a manner that is appropriate to our relationship with them. If they are our lover, we may choose to wed them. When the times where the force of our love wanes, we have our choice to support our relationship. Here, we can seek our lover's expression of love to us, for it will help kindle our own feelings of love.

It is, however, not their duty to do so. For they too are subject to the tides of their own heart. It is the failure, however, to maintain the relationship that is the cause of dissolutions of marriages and other relationships. If we do not choose to continue to engage in the relationship, the waning of the tide of love for a given person will bring with it the ending of that relationship.

The beloved can be the same person if we work to maintain that relationship. So to is true of the betrothed.

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