Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Recognizing The Goddess Within

"Thou art God/Goddess" is not just a phrase one says in greeting another at a Pagan gathering or festival. It is a saying that gives recognition to the God/Goddess within each and every human being, creature, and plant. It acknowledges divinity within all of the Universe's creations and thus, respect should be given to all you encounter. When in ritual or ceremony, this phrase has ultimate power and can bring out the divinity showing that person that the Divine is not just attainable but is ever present within you.

I've been reading a book recently with the Goddess School entitled Casting the Circle by Diane Stein which is all about recognition of this divinity in all women (and men). There is one paragraph that strikes a real cord with me that I feel must be shared with everyone:
Abuse of another is abuse of the Goddess, and since Goddess resides within, it's also abuse of the self. Abuse of the earth is abuse of the Goddess and the self, and abuse of perfection. Every woman is Goddess, a Be-ing to honor and worship. Every living thing is Goddess. In worshiping deity as female, a woman worships her own divinity, herself as Goddess-within. 
Let that resonate with you for a moment. I find the choice of using the word 'abuse' to really hit the message home in this as a lot of people don't look at what they do to themselves as abuse. For example: withholding food as punishment for indulging in a small cup of ice cream and believing yourself to be, by societies standards, as "fat"; or perhaps hurting yourself because you feel unworthy of your life; or even just looking in the mirror in the morning and mentally telling yourself that you are pathetic, unintelligent, or unlovable.

Stop it. Stop it right now and look at this paragraph above. To abuse yourself is to abuse the Goddess because she is within you.  You are the Goddess. Each and everyone of you possess the power, the strength, the passion, and the love of the Goddess and you can deal this out to everyone you meet and they can give it back to you.

Abusing others, the earth, or creatures is also abuse of yourself because everyone is connected through the divinity of the Goddess. They are you, you are they, and we are all She. I know it may be difficult for people to connect to the Goddess within because the patriarchal layout of religion has beaten us to believe that God, that Divinity is some figure looking down on us from far above, something that we cannot attain without direction from a Church and those appointed to facilitate the teachings of this unattainable figure to you.

In the Craft, this is simply not so. The Goddess and God are all around encompassing us and within us. We can reach the Divine simply by living our life and feeding our souls with knowledge and compassion. We can see the Divine every time we look into the mirror in the morning on the way to work, when we pass our friends in the hallway, when we gather around a bonfire to drum up the Earth. She is with us always.

This is one of the many beauties of Wicca and the Craft. I want to outline a mini-ritual for people to do in order to get in touch with their Goddess.

Recognizing the Goddess: Mini Ritual

You do not need any tools to do this for the most powerful tool is yourself. You may not even consider this a ritual but all things done with intent are, in fact, rituals. When you wake up each morning, take a look at yourself in the mirror before and after you are finished getting ready for the day. Say at least one positive thing about yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Example: "I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I am in tune with the Earth."

You may not believe these at first but eventually your conscious will begin to shift and you will hear the truth in your words. For that is the purpose of ritual, to shift the conscious mind.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Witchy Apparel

It has come to my attention that witches are vastly being labeled into modern day stereotypes. By this, I don't mean that we are being viewed as green faced, warty women with pointy black hats. We are being faced with an even shallower view of who we are. In fact, I get the comment quite frequently that I "don't look like a witch." What, pray tell, is a witch supposed to look like?

From what I've seen on the web, the media, and even in a lot of New Age stores, are the blue haired, gothic styled, pierced up and tattooed. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this attire. In fact, I admire the courage that I certainly lack in my own appearance to do that. I'm very plain Jane looking to be honest. What I do have a problem with is how people are misconstruing this attire as being a defining factor for a witch. A witch cannot be defined by their appearance and should never be. It's a feeling. I have a knack for being able to read people who are witches and I'm sure I'm not the only one that has this heightened sense of intuition.

I do see people like this in the Pagan community and yes, there are a lot who follow this trendy, fashionable, and free style but to outsiders I want to say, that is not the stuff we are made of. Not only that, a lot of people who are ignorant towards Wicca and the Craft tend to think that because this is how we are portrayed that this clothing and appearance has somehow become synonymous with immature, foolish, and attention seeking -- a phase, if you will. And of course to them, all phases come to an end and therefore degrades the importance of our practices, skills, and spirituality.

No one should have to change who they are, how they dress, what they look like to fit in with social norms and this is where I want to reprimand those for believing that one has to "look" like a witch to be a witch thus indication that our spirituality is based solely on our appearance.

I am a Witch whether I appear "normal" by your definition or not! So are the blue haired girls, the pierced and tattooed boys, and those who are all of the above! It is not a phase and it will never be a phase. It is a spiritual path -- a spiritual movement. 

I may not wear my ritual robe everyday or run through the forests naked all the time but when the call comes, I do answer. It's something that the witch knows deep down in their soul. I also want to point out that just because I don't "look" like a witch doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to the Craft. It doesn't mean I'm a "newbie" either to people who are in the Pagan community. I've astonished quite a few people in the Craft with my knowledge and my training because I did not share the "look". Don't underestimate people.

There were many well-known witches in the past who did not "look" like witches according to today's standards. If we keep up with this, then we may miss out on people who can help us grow spiritually.