9/29/08

Raising a witch?

Moon Phase: New Blood Moon
Moon Sign: Libra
Weather: Seasonal, overcast with a threat of rain and humid
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As I sat with my son this morning and read to him, I was rather delighted to see that he is showing a lively interest in books. It particularly struck me, however, that he loved to listen to me chanting some of the Wiccan chants that I know and use occasionally. We just sat and rocked as I chanted a few different ones. He especially enjoyed We All Come From the Goddess and The Earth is Our Mother. It is my hope that when he gets a little older, he will perhaps have an interest in witchcraft.

I can't say that I'm 'raising' him to be a witch. I detest the concept of forcing religion upon a child. While I agree that children do need to have structure to build from and grow with intellectually and spiritually, I can't condone forcing religion upon them. As such, I've been taking a careful look at how I want to approach this topic. My dear husband has told me that he trusts my judgment and is going to follow my lead on this matter. While witchcraft may shape elements of how we raise him, I believe I'm going to keep as many of the options for him to explore open as I can.

When he gets older, I won't be disappointed or upset if he chooses to practice a different religion then myself or his father. I may be upset if he decides that his politics or his religious beliefs are going to come between him and us, but I can't say that I'll have any control over that. What I want is for him to find the path in his life that helps him to grow to be the best person he possibly can be and to find something in his life that gives him stability within himself. Some people find that within witchcraft and others find it in atheisim. While he's little, however, witchcraft can act as a proving ground and a place for him to learn.

So, he may be raised with witchcraft around him and he may choose to continue it as he gets older, but I don't think I can 'make' him be a witch anymore then my neighbors can 'make' me be Christian.

9/22/08

Blessed Mabon, everyone!

Moon Phase: Last Quarter Wine Moon
Moon Sign: Cancer
Weather: Clear, above normal temperatures, mildly humid
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It is Mabon and it feels like the year has flown by and yet it has also dragged out. So many, many things have manifested this year that I set into motion earlier that I've been a bit overwhelmed. I think it is safe to say that this year has been a highly successful one for my magic focused efforts. Some of the manifestations I'm not pleased with, but it is because I recognize that my focus was improperly directed. The spells worked but since I didn't target them right, I didn't get the result that was as I needed, but rather what I desired at the time.

Let that be a warning to any neophyte witches reading this; you really do need to be careful what you ask for because you will get it.

The rather large and difficult magic focused upon becoming more genuine to who I am and stripping away the hinderances to my doing the work I am supposed to in this life has been... well, difficult. A great many of the comfortable lies that I've told myself over the years have successively shattered. And many of the qualities that I've been uncomfortable with about myself... well, I'm finding myself forced to examine them and make peace with them. It is not easy to take on such a challenge, but I recognize that it is something that I need to do for the sake of myself, my marriage, and my child.

I think that the most challenging part of having that particular bit of magic manifest is dealing with the very large fear of rejection and of being assaulted for what I am doing. It was a long and difficult road to get to where I could openly wear my pentacle in public with out the urge to hide it beneath my shirt at the first scowl that I saw. With continued effort, I know that I will be able to face down my other fears even as I build an environment that is safe and protect my child from harassment akin to what I faced in my childhood and teenage years.

The funny thing is the same harassment that I faced from people outside of the Craft I have also faced within the Craft for the way that I approach witchcraft and the entire direction that I've been moving in. It has made the entire thought of writing about the tradition I'm practicing rather terrifying for me. The safe and comfortable anonyminity of a blog or random posts on message forums makes the confrontations strictly verbal and at a relatively safe distance.

I have found, however, that the initial pull I felt at 18 has grown stronger and I need to write. I suppose this is part of the process of engaging in the work I am supposed to, I am not sure. But I know for certain that I can't push it aside anymore. I just hope that this will not result in too much difficulty for my family. After all, witches are not exactly popular in my neck of the woods despite all of the proclaimed religious tolerance of the community. I've been accused several times of being a devil worshipper on the basis of my jewelery (which is quite tasteful and discreet). Fortunately, the vast majority of the hostility has been diffused thru a quick and educational conversation.

It did make me chuckle, however, when one person walked away saying, "Wow, now I can tell people that I really do know a witch! And she's pretty cool!" Some of my neighbors are pretty funny! :)

But, just as I have been taking stock of how my herb bed has done and reviewing how things have progressed with my flowers, I am seriously looking at how harvest is coming in in things like my magical efforts and such. So far, I think the harvest is shaping up well, despite the bit of a problem I had with depression over a large chunk of this summer.

9/10/08

Dreams and reality.

Moon Phase: Gibbous Waxing Wine Moon (6 days from Full)
Moon Sign: Void of Course between Capricorn & Aquarius
Weather: Clear, slightly cool, some high clouds and a few 'cotton-ball' clouds, light breeze

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Last night I had a dream that I was at Lilydale. As I was there, one of my paternal aunts, the one who is a witch, walked up to me. She placed a hand on either of my shoulders and looked me intently in the face. In the dream, she was a few years younger then myself. As we were there, her wife was dying. My aunt said to me: "You're now the High Priestess. But you can't do it yet until you've been given the sacraments."

She said, "This is for your initiation." Then a garland of pumpkin orange hibiscus flowers (with midnight blue stamens) nearly as long as I was tall were wrapped about my waist, some how becoming only long enough to do so. We moved, somehow, to a park setting that I had seen in quite a few of my other dreams before. A garland of vivid, almost technicolor red hibiscus flowers (with pure white stamens) and red poppies was set on my head. As she did so, she said, "This is for your handfasting. Even though he's not here, it doesn't matter. It's after the fact anyways."

As she took a sky blue ribbon and cut it, we moved to the field behind the steel barn on my Grandfather's farm. Standing there among the Queen Anne's Lace, chickweed, and burdock, she put the four to six inch length of ribbon in my hand. Then, we were on the front porch of their house as it was before they remodled (over 15 years ago). She said to me, "You know the rituals and rites. You probably won't need this." She then handed me an inch thick booklet of papers that were printed off from her computer.

My dead Aunt, her wife, was in the midst of saying something to me as a couple approached me to be handfasted. Her face and form seemed to blur, like looking at something at the bottom of a clear pool of water and a series of waves rippled across it. Only one thing came clearly to me as I woke from this dream: "You're the High Priestess."

To say the least, I was perplexed by this dream. When I have dreams like this and wake with part of the dream still before my eyes, I know that something is wrong with some one I know. Somehow, I knew that something was wrong with my friend Rose. I had assumed that it was a simple matter of illness and I'd hear later. Then, a few hours ago, I get a phone call telling me that she died in her sleep last night.

It didn't surprise me. I find myself feeling confused and yet understanding the vision I had almost two years ago of her surrounded by children in a few years from now. It is when she'll be reincarnated. I don't know why I was shown that, but everytime I think of the vision, I can see it. She is sitting crosslegged on a white blanket in a brilliantly lit room. All around here are various small children and she is happy. And she is dressed in white with a blue stripe running along the hem of the shirt.

Am I in shock right now? Or did I expect for this to happen? I don't know. I only know that the coven she ran with our mutual friend David is even more stricken. First, in May, with the fire, came a terrible emotional blow. Then with the diagosis of her illness back almost two months ago, I can't be sure if it was one or two months ago now she was diagnosed, came another. Now, the third thing has come, her death. I feel horrible for her widowed husband. The man woke in the morning to find the love of his life lying dead beside him. I'm fairly sure that he tried to breathe life back into her cold lips and it is my sincere prayer that he does not curse himself for not waking earlier.

He is living one of my nightmares. Gods, please be kind and give him all of the aid he needs in this hour. He has lost everything.

9/7/08

Thoughts for Harvest tide

Moon Phase: First Quarter Wine Moon
Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Clear, cool and humid.
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Lughnassadh has come and gone. My son's first birthday has come and gone, as has my husband and mine fourth wedding anniversary. In our home, I find myself looking about and questioning what manner of harvest I'm taking in this year. I can't help some of the feelings of bitterness coming to me as I review this.

The home we're living in was the one that I found to be a wonderful prospect for us to move into. It's since failed to live up to that hope and I'm finding myself rather disenchanted with it. Here it is, September, and we're not unpacked and there's many points about this place that I simply can not stand or am troubled by the potential safety concerns to my son. Even as I have made headway in dealing with the management of this apartment complex on getting these things resolved, I'm still struggling with the feeling of regret. I hate to admit it, but it seems to be leading into depression again.

I'm thankful for my son's health and well being. He's grown so very, very much over the last year. The burgeoning toddlerhood is making itself known in fits of temperamental behavior and assertiveness. I try to cherish it, but it is difficult. Even in the face of that challenge, however, I have to say that I am delighted that my son is becoming more independent and self-sufficent. It is not that I desire for him to be a full grown man in this time so I don't need to concern myself with his needs. It is a wonderful thing to watch him grow and develop. I feel profoundly blessed and humbled to witness this ordinary miracle.

The magic that I cast back at Imboleg and the efforts I have been engaging in to support that change within myself are making themselves evident. Some of this process has not been easy and even somewhat painful. However, letting go the disingenous habits I have acquired and the similar traits that I've attempted to force upon myself are in my best interests. As such, I shall, as the expression goes, thole and deal with it as best I can.

Oddly enough, I am finding that among the things being revealed to me about myself is how closely what I was raised with and how I look at the world resemble Asatru. Specifically, the Virtues upheld. I was particularly struck by the Virtues of Courage, Truth, and Hospitality. It was, however, when I came to the realization that an expression which has shaped my world-view could have been uttered by one whom is Asatru that I was taken aback.

That expression is:

It is better to give too little then to give too much.

That little expression among many others that I've encountered and found myself holding onto generally fit well into this picture of life as painted by that religion. I have also found things that I desperately needed to have been taught as a girl because they are crucial elements of that worldview which was instilled in me by my parents but in a flawed fashion. Particularly was the matter taught thru the rune Gyfu and the virtue of perserverance.

Gyfu, the rune of Joy is detailed by Ragnar Storyteller in this fashion:

Rune WUNJO ----- Joyfulness over Guilt.

We take pleasure in being human.

There is no shame or guilt about our sexuality, our strength or our greatness.

Upon the matter of the virtue of preserverance:
We hold to our path until its completion and are not ashamed to be strong.
In the two of these, I find a third thing which is surprisingly comforting. This third idea is that what gains we have made in our lives, be it wealth or anything else which others may envy, we shouldn't be ashamed of.