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Archive for the ‘ethics’ Category

(sign my friends and I put up along a highway for Pagan Pride Day)

Rewind my life about eight years ago…

I had been assistant coaching high school color guard with a respected older role model in my life for years and I was afraid to tell her that I was Pagan. I was afraid to tell anyone at that point. I grew up with so much discrimination because of my faith in my own family that I was convinced everyone else would despise me too if they knew my true religious identity. And then one day one of my pentacle wearing friends visited me at practice and the other coach made a comment after my friend had left. It was then that I made a decision: I am not going to hide who I am anymore. I told her I was Pagan. You know what happened? Not what I initially expected: because she was actually pleasantly surprised! She said that she had met a Pagan couple on her honeymoon and that they were the nicest people she had ever met! A few years later she came to my handfasting and enjoyed herself.

If it hadn’t been for that one experience with that nice Pagan couple, this important woman in my life could have responded much, much differently. I am so grateful  for all of the friendly Pagans and Wiccans before me that have been proudly out of the broom closet. Wicca and Paganism is still very, very new for our society to grasp. Often new= scary.

The other day I was in my graduate school classes and we were talking about multiculturalism, tolerance and diversity appreciation. When the teacher asked us to name different subcultures someone mentioned Earth Based Spirituality. The teacher went on to use that as an example of how we are going to have to be understanding of different beliefs, “like Wicca”,  to be effective counselors. Looking around the room made my heart sink. A look of disgust swept across one woman’s face and I wanted to cry and yell at the same time. The subject was quickly changed but I knew that once the subject came around again I would reveal my religious identity for the sake of educating everyone in the classroom about my faith, like I had so often done during my undergrad. This is not a small task to be open. I risk  losing the respect of some of my professional peers and professors.

There are so many stereotypes that can hurt us. The most common is that Pagans and Wiccans  are either evil or are just a big joke. Both perceptions are hurtful and highly disrespectful.

Watch this shocking video to see the media openly mock Pagans and Wiccans:

http://www.causes.com/actions/1733105-demand-fox-news-apologize-to-pagans-and-wiccans?recruiter_id=46939271&utm_campaign=own_timeline&utm_medium=wall&utm_source=fb

I wanted to slap these ignorant reporters after watching this, but I thought back to that mysterious “nice Pagan couple” from before that had so willingly helped pave the way for me to be accepted. These reporters had never known any Pagans or Wiccans, but I am willing to bet you that they actually had- but the people were still in the closet about their identity. I know a lot of openly Pagan people, but it would shock you to know how many more people I know who are Pagan and do not tell others. I am not judging them, it is their own business why they want to stay in the closet. My only point is that there are way more Pagans out there than people realize!

If you are out of the “broom closet” I want to give you a big hug! It is only through exposure and advocacy that  people can begin to tolerate and accept us. The public needs to see that we are a diverse population with varying personalities, education levels, ages and ethnicities. It can be a scary thing to be out, and we won’t be able to win everyone over, but simply wearing a goddess or pentacle necklace in public can lead to wonderful conversations with people who are generally curious. Let’s not let the few intolerant “bad apples” of the crowd deter us from being open if we really want to.

~Blessings,

Cicada

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So I am going to be writing something that may be controversial out there. My only disclaimer is, is that I respect everyone’s rights to have differing beliefs and am glad our world is as diverse as it is.

Here’s something that has been itching at me for a while about the wiccan/witch community: Many of us have do not believe in the supernatural.

When I met my first adult witch she informed me that witches do not actually fly on broom sticks. What??? I was saddened by this, however this woman taught me so much regarding spirituality, meditation and energy work that I in no way regret having met anyone else. Later on I of course learned that witches do fly on broom sticks during out of body experiences (which functions and feels exactly like flying in the physical), but a part of me still wants to be able to pick up a broom on this earth plane and fly off.

There is this theory that practicing magic in harmony with nature will result in natural consequences. For example, making a love charm and meeting the man of your dreams the next day still seems natural for it’s not like bam, he suddenly appeared in your bedroom once you did the spell. So what kind of magic can be done to result in seemingly unnatural results? Some would say forcefull, unfriendly magic, but I have a different take on it.

I believe many of us are afraid. Our minds would freak out if something supernatural were to actually occur. It’s wonderful to communicate with spirits empathically but our eyes have become clouded by our fears in order to see properly. There are so many books on witchcraft out there, but I find some of the oldest books to be the most challenging of our fears. Often it wasn’t groups of people challenging the witch during initiation, but it was the spirits themselves. The witch would go off alone to a wild place and meditate all night. Often this wild place would be a gravesight or haunted spot. The person would come out either a poet and spirit worker, a madman or never at all.

“Witch” is such a strong word. It deems a person capable of doing strong magic. Another downfall of being open to supernatural events is that many of us have been disapointed in the past. Maybe the fairy you once thought you saw never came out again. Maybe once you learned that Santa wasn’t real you stopped believing in the possibility of magic. However, if you are on this spiritual path I doubt that you have completely stopped believing in magic. However that which you have a hard time believing in will be unlikely to be percieved by you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I remember that one of the reasons I felt off in my Christain spiritual community as a child is that my experiences did not fit into what I was supposed to believe. I had clear dream premonitions and it was looked strangely upon. I’m afraid it hasn’t changed much with the pagan community, too. Once at a pagan festival I dreamed that a racoon stole the bread in a different tent of mine in middle of the night. What do you think my family found in the morning? The plastic wrapper of our loaf of bread scattered and shredded in the woods behind our clearing.  When we fondly told people about it some looked at me in confusion or disbelief.

Remember why you wanted to be a witch in the first place? You felt the pull of mystery dancing in your blood. You wanted to feel the power of nature pounding in your veins.

Nature has very powerful forces. Asteroids colliding, tornadoes tearing, lightning flaming… powerful magic is natural, too. We just need to be aware that powerful magic will have powerful effects. Don’t forget about the mystery that first danced within you.

~Cicada

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The journey of the Heart takes us deep within our souls

and leads us to find that we are reflections of each other.

  One year ago from today a friend and I began the blog, Witching Wildwood and it fulfilled my outlet for all things spiritually witchy and kept track of our ritual adventures. Then something interesting happened along the way. The only words I can use to describe it is my heart expanded. I began to feel open to all paths of spirit. I began to see love as infinite.

I still adore the pagan path that I have been on since I was 11. I still honor the Goddess when the moonlight shines pale blue on a field of snow and when a deep cave reveals a secret crevice to me to rest and soak in her silence. I still sing of mystery and magic and feel the pull to greet the summer’s sun with bare feet dancing in dew-drip valleys. I still am a witch, and so Witching Wildwood will continue as always…

And now my spiritual path has led me to focus on something that is so expansive but simple that I felt the need to create an additional blog dedicated to it:

LOVE!

Feel free to join me in my new additional blog: Love is My Spirit

I want to explore love as Infinite Spirit. I want to celebrate people who have radiated this force so strongly that their actions helped shift the world, even if their action was so simple that it influenced just one person to open their own heart. I want to create and experiment with Love by awakening it in my own home, city and world community.

When we truly love, we are in harmony not only with our beloved but with all living things. Love is blind, insofar as it makes no distinctions but extends to everyone and everything.

-Living Yoga, edited by Gearg Feuerstein and Stephen Bodian

I have began dreaming about all different religions. I feel like peeling off a COEXIST bumpersticker and adhering it to my soul. How can I live more alive and serve love? How can I channel this energy that is an extension of the connection between us all? These are the questions I am asking.

In this blog I also post up my public art pieces that inspire positivity. I’m planning on having an adventurous year doing these anonymously in my community and am wanting to feature other people who do the same! Welcome!

Many Blessings for your 2013 and Happy One Year Birthday to Witching Wildwood!

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kitchenwitch

This witch is tired of being pushed around.

For two weeks something horrible has ravaged my life, taken refuge in my home and invaded my family… the common cold.

No more! I’m tired of coughing and blowing my nose. I’m tired of feeling crappy and I have finally realized, this sickness is not going away. I cannot wait it out any longer…

Today I have began the battle with this wretched demon in everyway I know how. Out came the candles, the oils, the witch bottles and sacred woods. I put my kitchen witchery to full force.

I began by placing halved onions in every room to clean the air. Then I cut up more for a soup. As I cut, I welcomed the cleansing tears that fell from my eyes and I sang to the onions my deepest desires. A green healing candle was lit, a relic from a Brigid’s ritual done at Imbolc, and I added the onions with 3 garlic cloves to a pot of water. A yellow plate was placed over the pot to help trap the steam and this plate became my altar. On the plate the green candle went, then cleansing and healing magickal herbs were spinkled around the little flame in the shape of a star.

Lemon balm, sea salt, rosemary and thyme

Heal my body, family and creature kind.

I used a peice of lemongrass as a wand and stirred the energy higher and higher until my will was done and then I poured the altar’s plant contents happily in the soup water. While the soup cooked, I readied a potion to cleanse our home:

Cleaning Potion of the Green Vial

Half full of vinegar a green vial holds

In it place skin of onion fold.

Lavendar and sea salt add to the mix

Then oil of grapefruit will do the trick.

For the last, chant in it your desire

While smudging from a pinewood fire.

Then you will drip much oil of thyme

To end this healing magick rhyme.

~By Cicada

Hahaha, you like my little verse? This is a little peak of what my Book of Shadows looks like inside. 🙂

I anointed rags with the cleaning potion and wiped all of the handles, mirrors, windows, keyboards, phones, remotes and lightswitches in my home and by the time I was done with that, the soup was done!

For the rest of the day I am dedicating myself to only eating fruits and vegetables with lots of teas! I hope you all are on the upside to good health and feeling ready for the festive holiday season ahead of us!

Many Blessings

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The Caregiver – Caring, compassionate, protective, devoted, sacrificing, nurturing, and often parental. Usually very benevolent, friendly, helping, and trusting.

The Creator – Innovative, artistic, and inventive. Often non-social, possibly a dreamer, looking for novelty and beauty and an aesthetic standard. Prefers quality over quantity and highly internally driven.

Everyman/Everywoman – The “working-class” person; persevering, ordered, wholesome. Usually candid; self-deprecating, possibly cynical, careful, a realistic.

The Explorer – Independent, free-willed, adventurous; seeking discovery and fulfillment. Often solitary, spirited, an observer of the self and environment; a wanderer and constantly on the move.

The Hero – Courageous, impetuous; a noble rescuer and crusader. May feel the need to take on difficult tasks to “prove one’s worth,” and may see themselves as a “slayer of dragons” and become an inspiration to others.

The Innocent – Pure, faithful, somewhat naïve or childlike. Usually humble and tranquil; longs for happiness and simplicity; often traditional and may be seen as “saintly” by others.

The Jester – Lives for fun and amusement; playful and mischievous. Can be irresponsible or a prankster at times, enjoys good times and diversions.

The Lover – Intimate, romantic, sensual, and passionate. Desires finding and giving love and pleasure; seductive, delightful, but can be tempestuous and capricious at times.

The Magician – A visionary or alchemist who seeks to understand how things develop and how things work. A teacher, performer, or scientist; wants to understand natural forces, transformations, and metamorphoses

The Outlaw – Rebellious, a survivor, possibly a misfit. Can be disruptive, a rule-breaker, wild, destructive; may have experienced struggle or injury in their past.

The Ruler – Holds a strong sense of power and control; the leader, boss, or judge. May be highly influential, stubborn, dominates others in roles such as administrator, arbiter, or manager.

The Sage – Values enlightenment, knowledge, truth, understanding; viewed as the expert and the counselor. Possesses wisdom and acumen, and may be a bit pretentious; scholarly, philosophical, intelligent; a mystical and prestigious guide in the world.

Reference: Faber, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2009). Resonance to archetypes in media: There’s some accounting for taste. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 307-322.

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Language is what defines our reality. In a postmodernistic view, where reality is subject to everyone’s own perceptions, language helps form our realities and can be different for different groups and individuals.

Words convey symbols. But what one word may convey to one person, can mean something so different to another. (Just think of all the connotations connected to the word “magic”).

It seems that with all religions, everyone has a word for God, but the words themselves do not match.

In fact, I personally think the word “God” is still too limiting to what it is I feel the Infinite Spirit represents. The word God feels so human to me. I once read in a Hindu scripture (can’t think of exact one) that people need a personal view and an impersonal view of God, so all the deities help a person connect to God, as there is a humanistic image of He or She, the impersonal view is called Atman (God within) and Brahman (God outside of ourselves). The goal is realizing that they are identical.  I like this perspective, as do many.

However, the word God, or even Goddess, is still limiting in it’s symbolic form. At least for me. Even if I try to connect to the impersonal God, I still end up imagining this old dude in the sky. Some people have an androgynous form of God they like to connect with, but it is still so human. Here’s the thing… out of all the hundreds names for God, what is it that God really means? What is it that God is?

=

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LOVE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If everyone could just accept this about everyone else’s gods, this would be the start of peace.

If everyone could just place LOVE on their altars, we would have the ultimate ideal for our lives.

LOVE is limitless. It has infinite forms. This is why there are so many deities and ideas of what they are. The world needs so many forms of Love. From the love of creativity to the love of the future generations to allow for death. Love is why we are here. Even if your parents conceived you from what most would deem as loveless sex, you were still conceived because they desired connection.

LOVE IS CONNECTION.

I am not saying I’m giving up on paganism or the God’s. Since love is infinite and we are part of this Infinite energy then there are many forms. Just like there are many, many people born to serve Love in many ways (teachers, musicians, librarians, leaders, garbage truck drivers, mothers, morticians, acrobats, etc…) there are many deities needed to serve Love in many ways  (Allah, Kali, Diana, Jehovah) and yes, many saints and prophets and wise ones (Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Mother Theresa, You?). And let’s not forget about the animals and plants of this world!

Thus, I am a servant of Love. I am love and you are love.

So Blessed Be

Picture by

http://www.cianellistudios.com/spiritual_paintings.html

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Moments I cherish…

Giving myself a break when my body tells me to slow down. This is accompanied by drinking warm green tea swirling with heaps of cinnamon and honey.

My husband and I mutually agreeing that cuddling is good enough for tonight because we are so exhausted from playing all day with our two children who bless our home.

Finding creative ways to stretch our dollar because it shows how resilient I am. Plus, usually the home-cooked rice and beans concoction I make kicks take-out food’s ass by a gazillion.

Having my family turn to me with their problems. This lets me know how much they must truly feel comfortable with me.

Watching the snow build up outside from  my window, because it means that I have a warm house to live in.

Trying to organize my excess of spiritual items,  because I am reminded of how much my spirituality influences my life.

Having a small house, because it means I can see my husband and children more.

Mowing the yard, because I have soil to do with what I please.

Staying up late to finish a school assignment, because it means I am one step closer to becoming a counselor in the future.

Having my husband work late sometimes, because his job is secure and he is valued as a hard-worker.

Running out of art supplies, because I get to go buy more!

….. now, if only I had this attitude about changing the litter box. 🙂

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