Friday, March 17, 2017
As A Magickal Community, Who Are We . . . Really?
Good Evening My Witchy Reader,
Tonight's discussion is more contemplative and reflective than anything, at least I hope it will be. I do not intend to scold, to point a witchy finger, or to in anyway suggest a person change who they are in relation to their magickal community. I just want to wander down this path for a while and take notice of many things that stretch out over the magickal path, as if to try and trip a witch up, to make us stumble.
I have been a practicing witch for over 30 years now, and I have taught others about the Craft, having owned my school and teaching in various venues for over 15 years, and where things can change somethings remain the same. Every day, every year there are new faces, fresh interests in Wicca and witchcraft, those young and not so young all new to this path, filled with the early excitement of casting your first circle, burning your first spell candle, making your first connection to your Goddess. That excitement when you realize you are a witch, or magickal person and it is perfectly okay and there are others out there too, also interested in the same thing as you.
Many pagans can remember their first ritual with other like minded witches and Wiccans, first smelling the smell of the burning charcoal briquettes, the first whiff of the ritual powdered incense, somehow earthy, but rich, an ancient smell that seems so familiar even the very first time you have ever smelled it. We remember the feeling of standing in the magick circle hardly believing we were there, with others, who didn't know us, yet accepted us, simply because we believed in similar magickal and nature ways, and we expressed an interest in belonging, or worshiping a Goddess or God or some power we knew was greater than us, and we stood in awe that this was made, somehow, possible.
We, each of us, found ourselves walking down the path of the witch, some worshiped in their hearts as they look at the moon as they drive home from a hard job, whereas some could worship with a full ritual with robes and a coven. Some branched off to teach others. Some helped counsel by doing readings or speaking with the loved ones spirit guides and angels, and some worked their magicks with making herbal preparations, working kitchen witchery or giving their magickal energies to animals and the natural world they surround themselves with. We each follow our magickal path in the direction it leads us, and for each that path can be slightly different from another. Some published books to reach a greater audience, some open stores so like minded folks could shop for their items and get advice, some make teas and salves and some do astrology charts.
The magickal person is unique and special, divine and full of light and love . . . . in the beginning. Yes, in the beginning we are full of all of the wonders, the excitement and the anticipation of what our magickal future will hold for us. Will we work solitary? Will we join a coven? Will we ever be invited to a Sabbat? Will we ever be able to come out of the 'broom closet' and live openly as a magickal person? Will we ever be fully accepted as a magickal person, by our families, our friends, our co-workers, others in our community?
Of course, in the beginning we have no idea where we will end up, or where our magickal path will take us. We, many of us are hopeful, but maybe a little fearful. We are excited, but a little anxious. Will we find acceptance, after having been denied acceptance in some areas of our lives? Will we find true friends we can trust and depend on, especially when old friends have left us when our true selves became known? What about that perfect love and perfect trust we have read about in so many introductory books on Wicca? Is that really true? Can it be?
I would like to say, after 30 years of working with the magickal community in many versions, that all of the hopes and dreams of neophytes come true but sadly they do not. Many pagans end up choosing to work solitary, or in very small, isolated covens that allow no new comers to join, simply because of one thing . . . many do not do the work required to live a magickal life.
One can leave the outer world and start walking a magickal path. You can take classes, read copious amounts of materials, watch movies, documentaries and fantasy series. Dress in cool, witchy clothes and go to Salem, like so many cool witches at least once a year and if you are really witchy even more times a year. Mix herbs, make teas, cast spells and chant in a cloud of incense at every esbat under each moon phase. Be sure to remember the Sabbats and perform the Cakes and Ale ceremony. And not a one of these things makes you a truly magickal person if you fail to attend to the work inside that needs to be done.
The work of the spirit within you. The love and light you believe in, that you feel in the presence of the Goddess. Well, frankly, that is the easy part. Yet, we exist on this globe with others the Goddess also loves as much as she loves us. She created each and everyone of them, also. Over 7 billion people. Now, it would be a great feat to send out and truly feel love and acceptance for all 7 billion people on the face of the earth. But let us be realistic and work closer to home.
And the Goddess knows we have issues feeling so with those in the outer world who judge us, have cast us aside, who have believed wrong things about us without any cause just because of who we are, or how we dress, or because we burn incense or wear a pentacle.
But I find that even those of us who have come from the same place of wonder, when we first stepped upon this magickal path, at some time come to a place of judging, assuming, casting aside and treating like minded people just as harshly, just as unfairly, just as . . . as anyone in the outer world.
Let me say, at this point, I know, that of people reading this discussion, of at least 7-8 people who will read this and be absolutely convinced I am writing about them. They would be wrong. I am writing in general, because in my 30 years I have seen so many occasions, I have seen so many instances, I have myself been the target of so many people looking to place blame, when in truth we can each, only blame ourselves, for forgetting what it was like when we didn't fit in . . . when we were scared and anxious if we again found ourselves in a place where we would not be accepted, and have to continue forth to continue looking.
Then I have witnessed those who create a name for themselves, a reputation, a following (dare I say) and where some absolutely radiate love and light, others consistently feel the need to publicly try to slander in some way the reputation of others who have reached that level of reputation and following. When at that level, they have taught people will always say something nice about you and that will be balanced out with someone saying something not so nice about you. The principle of polarity. Yet, by the time one reaches a certain celebrity what is to be gained by a public witch war?
Besides bolstering ones self esteem, perhaps? Garnering as many positive comments on social media? I feel once someone has been publicly slandered they absolutely have the right and almost the requirement to defend themselves, but was the initial slanderous public outcry even necessary in the first place?
After 15 years of teaching, I simply put no care into whether a student compliments me or criticizes me, as long as I can see them following their magickal path and they conduct themselves in ways that would make me proud as an instructor and High Priestess.
Many years ago, I removed from our ritual and Book of Shadows the old axiom "In Perfect Love, In Perfect trust" because it became very apparent that it was an impossible concept and wholly unattainable by so many who practice our ways.
Instead I wrote "We come together in love and friendship, loyalty and trust, Let us part the same way." I felt this was a more realistic goal that a group or a coven could strive for. That having come together with the same desire in our hearts with the same destination in our souls, we could find this common ground.
I have glimpsed it every now and again, and I hope to one day see it grow, when we start to grow as a magickal community and remember what brought us all together, WHO brought us all together in the first place.
So Mote it Be, Ms. Faith
Live, Laugh and Always Love
© 2010-2017 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Friday, March 17, 2017