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 http://deepestwell.blogspot.com/
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!