Monday, November 28, 2011

My humble beginning

A dear friend recently suggested that if I wanted to let my blog readers really understand me, I should write out how my life brought me to the Craft.  Some of the story puts certain people in a fairly negative light, so instead what I’ll write about this time is the night… well, keep reading.  Best to narrate than describe, in this case..

It was October, 1979 and I was 14 years old.  The fog had come in thick and heavy, and the moon was full.  We had this great back yard with one end a circle of maple trees that hadn’t quite lost their leaves, and part of the back yard was densely populated with redwood trees.  I heard and felt an odd hum, almost like someone singing below the threshold of my hearing, so I put on a sweater and went out back, down the steps and onto the lawn.

The fog was just above my knees, but the stars were clear.  We lived in the middle of suburbia, but it was completely silent that night.  The moon was so bright it was almost shimmering silver/blue/white in the sky, and it felt electric on my skin.

I was standing in the circle of trees in the fog, staring up at the moon and without knowing why, I lowered my right hand into the fog and raised my left hand up to the moon and said “For this lifetime, I’m yours”.  The fog swirled up my arm and the moon rushed down my hand as I inhaled, and both sets of energy rushed into my lungs and felt like they exploded out of my chest, and I fell over backwards onto the grass, dizzy.

I honestly can’t tell you what my dreams were like for the next week, but I woke up both tired and exhilarated from them.  It wasn’t too long after that when I started accidentally hearing what people were thinking before they said it, and the wind started answering me when I asked it to back off walking home from school, or asked the rain to stop because I didn’t have an umbrella.  High school, after that, was the usual torture for a shy kid but it was also one of the more magical periods of my life.

And that’s how I got started with magic, it took me another 4 years to find paganism and Wicca  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Magic of Thanksgiving

I don’t think I’ve ever talked with my pagan friends about the magic of Thanksgiving before, and since I’m waiting for the post-pie sugar buzz to wear off so I can go to bed, I figured now is the perfect time.

Thanksgiving is one of the most interesting secular holidays.. It’s full of political opinions about the pilgrims and Native Americans, and lots of my more liberal friends are angry on behalf of the Native American folks who were robbed of their land, culture, and lives.

But it’s also a time for football, where people are usually drinking and having fun while watching their favored team either win or get trounced, with all of the high emotions around whichever way it’s going.

And let’s not forget that Thanksgiving is also a time where lots of friends and families are getting together, having a good time and quietly rejoicing in the company, the food, the traditions, etc.  I know some families also get together and fight, it’s sort of the other side of the coin I suppose.

A small percentage of people are camping out at stores, in the hopes of getting a special deal for Black Friday and buy all of their holiday gifts for the least amount of money.  Some of them have been camping for days, waiting in line to be first/second in the store.  (Just think of all the energy that goes into this one thing, and compare it to ritual preparation.)

Many people are giving thanks for the joys in their lives, or sometimes the lack of bad things in their life, such as "I'm thankful I'm not homeless".  A small percentage of people are volunteering at soup kitchens and feeding homeless and hungry people who have nowhere else to go.
A lot of the "giving of thanks" that goes on this time of year is focused on love and the people we're happy to have in our lives.  Some people are thanking specific deity, some are just "being thankful" without invoking any gods at all.

But all of those scenarios I’ve described amount to one thing – emotional energy.  The seasons are changing where I live, the cooler weather has arrived and the trees are making a heroic farewell with bright red, soft gold, and showering the streets with the leaves that fall.  Emotional energy, changes in nature – all of which a witch can tap into.  We can choose from the vast smorgasbord of energy which wavelength of the energy to immerse ourselves in, and channel it into whatever works best for us.

I’m choosing to focus on the quiet joy of families giving thanks to no specific deity, to amplify and send out in waves of harmony as far as they’ll reach.  Which energy are you going to choose to align yourself with?