Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Bit of Wisdom

As a solitary practitioner of Wicca, I am confronted with many traditions created by others over time. I use the word "confronted" because all this information can be daunting, conflicting or unsettling. Confusion in deciding how one will walk their Path can lead to a lack of understanding of the nature of Wicca. Being unsure is a keystone to the lack of a strong foundation for the Workings and Rituals one attempts. In the end, doubt and lack of confidence can lead to misery and the loss of commitment.

In my own Path, I did struggle at first, years ago, to make sense of everything I was learning; to put things into their "proper" place, as far as structure of ritual, magickal traditions, correspondences, etc are concerned. I cannot speak for everyone, but I do know there were times of stumbling and fear of failing. Fear of not doing things right, of messing up, of forgetting, ignoring or not understanding what the heck it was I was doing.  Time and practice, of course, brings things into perspective. Talking with others and thinning out the books that don't quite work or don't make sense and above all, counting on the God and the Goddess for guidance.

A case in point: Full Moon names. Each month there is a beautiful full moon and an esbat (observance) to go with it. If you do an internet search for full moon names, you will come across dozens based on tradtions, heritage, race, and other factors. Some months these names made sense, some other months, not so much. What's a witch to do?

A few months ago, I was reading Aine O'Brien's blog
Aine has a wonderful way of putting things into perspective as she explores her own path and its evolution. She is a source of good information and sparks discussion about many subjects. She suggested naming the full moons ourselves using as a basis aspects that are important to our own lives. A simple statement that opened my eyes to the possibilities, not only in naming the Full Moons, but for many other parts of the Craft. I thank Aine very much for this bit of wisdom.

This morning I have been reading a little book I found in a used book store. It is called The Elements of Natural Magic by Marian Green (published by Element Books Limited, Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset UK, copyright 1989 by Marian Green). Here is an excerpt that captures exactly what I have been looking for:

from the chapter "Seasons Cycles and Feasts" page 105:

"There are lots of old country calendars which give quaint names to each lunar month, but you can easily select your own based on the weather, the occurrences of wild flowers, the return or departure of migrating birds or animals or even family birthdays or anniversaries. Anything in magic which you "make up", design or are inspired to use--be it a festival, an instrument or a magical robe--will be a much more potent thing than one that someone else created.  It should always be your Will which dictates what should be used and when. Only by allowing yourself to make decisions--and to be wrong occasionally--is your knowledge and confidence going to expand. Being wrong, making mistakes and tripping over are great teaching processes and should not be feared.  After all the man who never made any mistakes never made anything at all."

I am placing this quote in my Book of Shadows and encourage you to at least give this a really good read and take it to heart. Your Will, your Path, your Wicca (or other pagan path). Imagine the possibilities!

Blessings from Robin to you and yours!


Aine said...

Robin - great post! Yes, the moon names were a real eye opener for me. I think more than a few pagans are starting to understand that while reading about the "old ways" is very interesting, not to mention a peek at the lives of our ancestors, our belief system has to be adjusted to our world in order to not only have meaning, but to survive! Some of the old ways are just not doable in today's world. Having said that, I still love referring to the June moon as the "honey moon" because of it's association with midsummer and mead (honey wine.) It is a challenge to find your own way.

Lately I started recognizing that when I feel stagnant in my practice that it's time to learn something new. One of the things I love most about Paganism is that it is a living, growing evolving thing.

Robin Larkspur said...

Aine, It is liberating to realize that it is okay to adapt, evolve, renew.....the pagan path should never be static, in my humble opinion.

The Traveler said...

As a solitary pagan with no real ties to any 'traditional' path I constantly wrestle with the idea of whether or not I'm 'doing it right'. I just have to remind myself of the very things that you are affirming here. I'll be stealing that quote as well and putting it in my BOS, =).

Anonymous said...

I think it´s much the same way whet ever religion ones have. Confusion, every one saying different things in how things works or how one should do to do right :-)
Like You I think it´s important to find ones own way and don´t give a crap what others think about that :-)

Have a great day!

Robin Larkspur said...

Christer, I would like to amend my post by saying "whatever your Path, Wicca, pagan or any religious or spiritual path." Thanks for your wise words as well.

Robin Larkspur said...

Trav, glad you found this post useful and affirming.

Magic Love Crow said...

Robin, thanks so much for this great post! I truly appreciate it! I will be getting this book. I love the quote you wrote from the book. I think that's one thing I am always afraid of, if I am doing something wrong. But, being in this blog world and meeting terrific people like you, has made it a lot easier ;o) Have a wonderful day!

Robin Larkspur said...

Stacy, glad to be of help. As I have said before, there are no Pagan what feels right to you, and have no worries.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

This is a great idea, to name your own full moons! Love it!

Jeanne said...

A wonderful post and a truly great piece of wisdom. Just as we are each unique, so is the path we walk. And what could be more empowering than our own creations? :0)

Mina said...

Wonderful post, Robin and such an inspiration. I believe one of the best things about following a nature religion is coming to realize that just like nature, humans are never static. We (hopefully) grow and change and evolve. In doing so we see that our spiritual practices require the same principles. Thank you for bringing this to light.