Archive for February, 2012

The Path That is Mine

Posted in Poetry with tags on February 28, 2012 by The Starry Path

I love the path that is mine

That crooked, bended, twisted path

Surrounded by lush green sprouts

and shaded hideaways

I love the star that shines above me,

that resonates with me

Her light makes shadows dance

and twists the hours astray

I love the voice that is my own;

A bird´s tweet, or a storm

That fills the air with harmonies

where laughter is the crown

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PBP: Deity

Posted in Pagan Blog Project with tags , , , on February 24, 2012 by The Starry Path

Deity… I guess I just have to write about deity concepts for myself, because I´m struggling with it! It´s so hard and I don´t even know where to begin. How about from the beginning?

When I first encountered Wicca I was about 15 years old. It was through a book that my mother´s friend gave me. It was 21st Century Wicca (with the title horribly translated to something like “Wicca: A Young Wicca´s Handbook”. That´s right, Wicca, not Wiccan)  by Jennifer Hunter, for long the only book on Wicca translated to my language, nowadays there´s… two. She had ordered it through a book club I think, but said it wasn´t for her, maybe I would be interested? She knew I was into magic, astrology, divination etc. Well, that I was, but I wasn´t religiously inclined at all! I was spiritually searching, but not really for a religion.

I read the book, and liked the chapter on magic, but I really, really struggled with the concept of deity. God? Goddess? Whatfor, and who were they?! I actually think I gave it an honest try to wrap my head around it, but miserably failed. I didn´t want to believe, I saw myself as an atheist. Then I met my first teacher and had my first experience of deity during meditation. I felt like a loving, warm woman figure hugged me, rocked me in her safe arms. I´d never felt anything like it and it filled me with wonder. Could it be something like a God and Goddess, could it be anything out there? In that case I wanted to know! That is how it begun…

At first I theorized quite a bit, when you don´t have much experience I imagine that´s common. I´m not the type of person who just starts believing in something, without any experiences on my own to support it.  But you have to start somewhere. I saw the gods as archetypes, as part of our psyche, but also as something bigger than I could begin to grasp. I have modified a saying I once heard on TV to suit my view on deity:

Deity is always more than our desciption of it. If we don´t understand that, we don´t have the right to describe it.”

Over the years, my beliefs have evolved according to my experiences that I´ve gained through study, meditation, ritual, contemplation and discussion. I don´t think I will ever feel that I´ve capture the core of the divine, I think this´ll be a life long process and journey. I´m in a bit of a hurry, so I will expend my thoughts in a part II.

Potential

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , on February 20, 2012 by The Starry Path

I´m trying to be the person that I want to be, that I have the potential to be. I try to mold myself, create myself like a sculptor. Some parts are painful to chop away, but nethertheless those are things I eventually have to let go of. Things like regret, self-pity and bad traits. Some positive traits are hard to form as well, you feel like you can only do so much with the material that you´ve been given.

I also think about the priestess that I would like to be. My first teacher of Wicca once said “I think you´re going to be a powerful priestess.” I´m not telling this to show off in any way. I don´t even know exactly what he meant by it, and it´s not what I would call myself at this stage. Other than that: power without wisdom, humility and temperance is dangerous. I would feel so ashamed if I ever got caught on an ego trip!

I´m not striving to be some sort of fantasy priestess, perfect in every way. I know I´m human and I´ve found fantastic pagan role models both in real life and online. People who teach out of love, wonder and awe, who are not afraid to problematize, question or challenge. Who meet others with respect, curiosity and encouragement. I would also like to embody that someday. Like Kore/Persephone, I have to find my own way to growth, maturity, wisdom and power.

Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. (excerpt from “The Charge of the Goddess” by Doreen Valiente)

Nyx

Posted in Crafts with tags , on February 19, 2012 by The Starry Path

A painting I did of Nyx last weekend.

PBP: Dedication

Posted in Pagan Blog Project with tags , , , on February 18, 2012 by The Starry Path

For the letter D this week I´ve chosen to write about Dedication.

For me, dedication to my path has always been essential, because I believe that what you put in is what you get back. When you show dedication to your Gods you get their attention back in return. What goes around, comes around!

As I see it, dedication is two things. Firstly, dedication is when you make a statement, that this is the path you want to follow in life. This should not be taken lightly! It´s about letting go of something and inviting something new. That is one reason for the tradition of studying “a year and a day”,  before you dedicate yourself in Wicca. It is also a reason why most serious coven don´t allow anyone under the age of 18. There´s so much going on around that age, and not many people have the stability to focus on religion, definitely not a new one. A young person´s priorities are usually elsewhere. But in the quest to discover one´s identity, some turn to religion, alternative religion. I did, and I´ve certainly never looked back. But most people I met at that point were much older than me.

The second kind of dedication is probably the most important, and then I mean the continuous dedication to your path. Some people may surely become a bit lazy after doing a self dedication and feel that they´ve done their part. Now it´s done, right? No, my friend, it is only beginning! Dedication is not a one time thing, it´s continuous through daily practice and deepening your knowledge, wisdom and know-how, eventually to possibly serve the pagan community as a whole by teaching or sharing in some other way.

Dedication, in both regards, usually looks different depending on if you´re a solitary practitioner or  working with a coven. If you´re a solitary, you will probably at some point do a self dedication ceremony to dedicate yourself to your path. You have to design the ritual yourself, or follow one in a book. As for the continuous practice, I find it relatable to exercise: it´s easier to keep it up with the support of others. Many make new year´s resolutions, only to return to old habits after a month. It takes a huge inner drive to follow a new routine. Many beginners can keep it up a few months, but when the first surge of enthusiasm fades, they drop the ball.

If in a coven, one gets the support and guidance of others who have already wandered before you. It´s a quite different guidance than books. I started out as a solitary practitioner but later found a coven. It´s a great experience to have others make a dedication ceremony for you, letting you experience it rather than creating it yourself. It´s a touching experience. The self dedication I made a few years before was a dedication to keep on deepening my path within Wicca, while the other was more of a dedication to the coven experience. Different, but a natural succession for me! Since then I´ve also taken my first initiation, which also feels like a step in the continuous dedication on my path and to my gods.

So to summarize, I feel that dedication is very important. When I feel that something fits me right, I wanna do it wholeheartedly. Because honestly, I think that both I and the path deserve due honor that I can give by dedicating myself.

PBP: Circle Casting

Posted in Pagan Blog Project with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by The Starry Path

So, what new piece of information do I have to contribute to this subject? Probably zero! Still I´d like to muse a bit about my observations regarding the circle in general.

To begin with, the circle is a mystical figure; with no beginning nor ending, both empty and full, flat or spheric. In a circle all men are equal, none above the other, like the knights around the round table. Also, the circle formation is ideal so that voices can be heard when outside. It holds in.

When we cast the circle (indoors or outdoors) we erect a temporary place of worship, a sacred temple. We state that it is a place between the worlds, outside of space and time, and it surely is. Many of us can testify that time seems to run a lot slower. An hour of ritual feels like less than half of that time. A few years ago I met with a group of witches who would often celebrate esbats out in the woods. For some strange reason, we ended up only meeting during the winter months, so it was often snowy or at least quite cold. It was then I realized that the circle also effects temperature. I would freeze before the ritual, but when the circle was cast I would think it was rather pleasant. Same thing when the circle was opened, then I would feel the cold creeping in again.

I have wondered why this is. I have observed that I tense my body and breathe deeper in ritual, maybe it has something to do with it, I don´t know. I also experience something I can´t describe better than a pressure change, due to that plopping sound you get in your ears.

I think it was Scott Cunningham who suggested that you´d experiment with the circle, test it out. I did that once, many years ago. I draw a circle around me in my bedroom and felt its boundaries. What appeared to me then was that the circle wasn´t static, it moved around me! It was like I was the power center and the circle radiated from me and was one with me. I wouldn´t dare to say it is always like that, since I only tested it once, but it was an interesting experience. I think that in common ritual, with more will, the circle stays where you want it to.

I have a very small ritual space where I live now, it´s long and narrow. To cast a perfect circle wouldn´t really be practical because that would give me a tiny space to move. So I draw all that space as my circle. But as Dianne Sylvan wrote on the matter in her book The Circle Within, you can imagine that the energy goes beyond the walls and forms a circle.

I have mentioned will, and that leads me to the tools. I think most witches draw the circle with their athame/ritual blade, though the wand can be used for the same purpose. Here, minds are divided as to what element these two tools belong to. To me, athame is definately a tool of fire, connected to will, passion and resolution.

There are lots of aspects and nearby topics to extend on when talking about circle casting, and I could go on forever I feel but I will end here.

May the circle be open but unbroken, may the peace of the God and the Goddess be ever in your heart. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.

Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune

Posted in Books with tags , on February 8, 2012 by The Starry Path

Because I´ve come down with the flu I´m home from work. Do I have to say that I´m bored to death?

To cheer me up I browsed around and found this book. I read a few pages on Google Books and liked what I saw. I´ve wanted to read some biographic material about these two, and this was like a two in one! I didn´t think long before I ordered it.

Has anyone read it by chance?