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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Woman in Total Control of Herself

I miss being a Witch.  There, I said it.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time, wondering how I could reclaim this “delicious” word for the aspects of my spirituality that touch on the ancient, the deeply mystical, the mysterious…the magickal.  For about 30 years I wove my spiritual tapestry with the threads of “the Craft;” with lovely, earthy panels of Druidism, Wicca, and New Age Spirituality shot through with tones of Christianity, particularly the practical solids of Methodism.  Methodism aside, I was a Witch, and I raised my children – especially the eldest – in the flickering light of candles and the warmth of bonfires and fragrant incenses.

I miss being a Witch, but it isn’t really the word I miss as much as the gatherings at the turn of the seasons, the circle dancing, the mead-horns and doumbeks and belly dancing just because we love the Earth upon which we live, the recognition that She is our home and a gift of Creation worthy of respect and love.  I miss standing in a circle intoning prayers and invocations to Deity and the invitations to the Presence of elementals and Angels, friends and ancestors with others of similar mind.  I miss the singing of songs ribald and rowdy; simple and sacred.  I miss the recognition that ALL of Creation is sacred and worthy of love.

In all the years I was a Witch, I knew that for me, the life of Jesus was important, but found it difficult to reconcile the “Christian” life with the Wiccan life – not because they are mutually exclusive, but because often those who follow one path could not accept the other.  When I became fully involved in the Methodist church, I sought ways to hold on to the Witch in me.  I grasped the acronym W.I.T.C.H. for “Woman in Total Control of Herself.”  Over time, I let it go.

Well, sort of, anyway.  It was the Witch in me who could not continue to seek ordination in the UMC, in spite of my love for the Wesleyan way of being Christian as I understand it.

As a member of the Universal Anglican Church, I am free to find the places where Christianity and Neo-Paganism come together.  As an Inter-Spiritual Priest(ess), I will be free to use the spiritual practices that best serve the purpose of the moment, calling upon the aspect(s) of Deity that speak to me at a given time.  As long as I can remember, I have understood Deity to be One with many names and many faces.  Our understanding of God is driven by culture, heritage, and experience.

Process Theology has given me a post-religious name for my understanding of “God,” an understanding that is described as “The Ten Thousand Things” by Lao Tzu.  I think of a River, flowing through All That Is.  We are all part of it.  Everything is part of it.  Such an understanding of the Universe recognizes the validity of all ways of being spiritual.  It recognizes that Jesus taught that God is right here, right now.  It accepts what Paul taught out of his Greco-Roman heritage, that “in God we live and move and have our being.”  It understands that standing beneath a full moon chanting about the relationship of our spirits to the waters of the ocean is as true an experience as standing in a sanctuary singing about the relationship between the Christ and the Church.

The more I think about it, I realize that I don’t miss being a Witch.  I am a Witch, and always will be.  I am also a Pastor and will soon be a Priest.  When St. Brigid in the Desert gathers as a congregation, we are more than a congregation.  We are a Circle.  We are in relationship with one another, with the community, with the Earth and the Sky.  We are in relationship with the Divine.  If you were to join us one day, you might find us reciting a version of Lord’s Prayer, celebrating the Eucharist, or holding hands singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”  Then again, you just might find us standing in a circle, sharing Holy Cakes and Wine, or dancing to the rhythm of my doumbek.
  
Blessed Be.

6 comments:

  1. I agree wholly, I reposted this on my Blog "One Witchy Mom", where I walk the fine and controversial line of a Christian Witch...LoL

    Check out my site I have had since 1999 about the Blended Path.

    I would love to attend your service, you just so darn far away!

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    1. Thank you so much! I checked out your site - I can't believe I haven't come across it before. Perhaps I have...so much going on, one becomes lost in all the information at times. Thank you for your comment. Blessed Be!

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  2. Site link http://christiancraft.weebly.com/ Ooops...LoL

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  3. Lately -- as in the past couple of months -- I have been reminded by the universe that I am a Witch, still, too!

    It's like in Mists of Avalon, when Morgaine gives up the Mysteries, right? She slowly begins to realize through her relationship with her old-man-husband's son that she is still a Priestess of Avalon. She starts small, re-doing her crescent moon and remembering how her body is still in tune with the Earth and Moon even when she didn't consciously realize it. As she continues to build back up her confidence in herself and her powers, she becomes a Priestess again completely.

    In the same way, I realized as the summer reached its height how my body and mind swelled with the life of the season. I could feel the energy of Midsummer within. As the summer begins to die, I feel that, too -- and it's all becoming stronger the more I give it the attention it deserves. More and more, the lessons of my childhood are returning; yet now, they are all through the lenses of my experiences since then, my career, my love, and the woman I have become/am still becoming.

    It all means so much more now. Not because it wasn't deeply meaningful as I grew up, and not at all because I wasn't taught the Craft well. Nor is it because I did not deeply believe all of this in my childhood. What it is, I think, is that everything I learned as a babywitch, and all of my experiences since then, are now helping me to take a new and stronger spiritual path.

    Being a Witch is not simply religion, or prayer, or self-control. It's not just burning sage and carving runes in wax. As you know -- and as you said here in this post -- it's using those tools to enter a state where you can open your brain up to the connection that exists among everything in our world. It's the knowledge that we are all star-stuff, carbon-based things who share genetic code with carbon-based things that existed eons ago -- and we will share our genetic code with carbon-based things eons FROM now.

    We are all points in a sphere of experience, of knowledge, of physics, of genetics, of intelligence, of emotions, of EVERYTHING that has EVER existed.

    Feeling that connection and understanding how what you do affects so many others so far beyond what you could imagine? Using that knowledge to bring about positive change in the continuous, forever sphere of existence? THAT, to me, is what being a Witch is all about.

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    1. Such a thoughtful response, Betsy. Thank you for reading my blog, and for your comment. It's such a difficult thing, sometimes, to just settle into who we are in the universe...in our own lives. Yet, when we do we know, in those moments, that we are connected. We are powerful. We are.

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