My First Beltane

Beltane

Celebrated on May 1st, this will not only be my first Beltane celebration, but my first Wiccan celebration.

Beltane celebrates fertility, harvest, and the upcoming summer months. Beltane celebrates life, whereas Samhain represents death. Both of these are necessary to continue the circle of life. Without death, there would be no life. Without life, there is no death. They balance each other.

There are so many ways to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat. As a solitary Wiccan, I have been researching ways to celebrate by myself, versus celebrating with a Coven.

I’m not too keen on big parties or parties in general. I’m very introverted, but I still want to pay my respects to the God and Goddess. There are lots of solitary events that can take place to celebrate the Sabbat.

Here are some of the activities that I plan on participating in during Beltane:

  • Walking the perimeter of my apartment complex (I live in a city), and cleaning up litter around the area.
  • Cooking up a yummy feast! Beef stew, homemade bread, and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.
  • Sit down and practice my divination.
  • Laying rose petals on my altar.
  • Having an intimate ritual with red, orange, and green candles (Some of the colors associated with Beltane), and making an offering to my Goddess and God.

This is my first Wiccan celebration, so I am trying not to overdo it. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, but I still want to honor the deities and pay my respects. I am very excited to see how it will play out. And it will give me a wonderful excuse to dose myself in lots of flowers!

Advertisements

Flexible Religions: Good or Bad?

The fact that Wicca is extremely flexible drew me in right away. There are so many ways to practice the belief. Rules are not completely set in stone, although most Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede, which is a basic guide that basically explains that we do not harm others. Any actions have consequences, and they will come back at you three times so. I guess you could call it “karma” coming to bite you back three times over. Whether the intention was good or bad will determine how the karma comes at you.

Untitled-1

The above Rede is the shortened version, although the entire Rede is pretty short in itself. Other religions have a much bigger “guide book” to follow, for example, the Bible. (I’m a former Catholic, so it’s easiest for me to reference such) Most religions have organized worship services, such as Sunday Mass. Most religions are monogamous, meaning they only worship one God.

Wicca on the other hand, is a little more flexible. There is no correct God/Goddess that you worship. The only thing that is important is that you recognize the deities to represent the Sun and Moon/Earth, or masculine and feminine. Wiccans can choose their deities, or have their deities choose them. The deity we worship is usually the one that we have the strongest pull to.

Wicca and other religions do share lots of similarities, despite their endless differences. Referring back to Catholicism, Wicca also shares the belief that a higher power(s) ultimately intertwine the universe. They also both require some sort of faith in religion to make it work.

I feel like it is rare to find two Wiccans that completely agree with each other’s beliefs. Each Wiccan practices in his or her own way. Some of us are focused on the properties of herbs and crystals, while others may never touch them. Some of us have an elaborate altar with meaningful pieces to have a ritual, and some Wiccans do not participate in rituals.

For those reasons, Wicca can be completely overwhelming to take on as a spiritual belief, because what one person may believe, the other may not.

Some Wiccans belong to a Coven, which is a larger circle of Wiccans who gather every now and again, usually on Sabbats, to celebrate, perform rituals, and to engage and socialize with other fellow Wiccans. The issue with Covens, is they are not widely available, and it may prove to be difficult to travel to meet up with your Coven. Wiccans don’t have official places of worship. Lots of Wiccans also don’t make their spiritual beliefs widely known, as there is still that stigma around the religion. It’s still considered a sort of taboo. Most Wiccans aren’t out there to hex and curse others. It actually goes against our Rede. Not everyone who practices dark Witchcraft is a Wiccan.

Wicca is basically following your intuition. Your intuition will show you how to worship. It is literally whatever you are comfortable with. Every single book on Wicca is different. Every person’s opinion on Wicca is different. The concepts are usually similar, but it is so flexible that it is possible to have differing beliefs and opinions on lots of aspects.

I guess I do like the fact that Wicca is so flexible. It gives you the capacity to mold yourself around the beliefs. You aren’t restricted to countless rules. We just have a few simple rules such as the “Harm none” and “Law of Three”. Even though the Law of Three is basically just a warning. Even though it’s a little overwhelming at times, it’s nice to be able to sit back and relax, taking it slow, to let things just come to you. I’m a part of a few really informative groups that help guide each other and give advice if need be.

Blessed Be.

Ties to Nature

One of the biggest parts about Wicca that I identify with is the ability to feel immense amounts of energy when I’m submerged in the great outdoors.

I live in a city, so there’s not a lot of places to go around and take a walk through the woods and admire the beauty of nature. I often sit on my patio and close my eyes. I try to do most of my meditating outdoors, as that’s when I feel the most peace. I feel the wind softly blowing past and let it brush my hair off my shoulders. I soak in the sun light (or the moon light, depending on the time of day), and let it charge me with energy.

I really need to set aside some time on the weekend when I’m not overwhelmed with work to travel to a nearby forest and absorb the woodland energy. I need to be lost among the trees. I need to find a small river, or creek and admire the slow rush of water. I can already envision the beautiful sound of flowing water. The crisp breeze on my cheeks. The clean, tranquil aroma coming from the pure beauty of nature.

There is something just so relaxing and peaceful about being in the woods. For those moments, everything else is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is the connection with nature. It clears the mind and cleanses the soul.

I’ve had a rough time at work, and just life in general lately. I’ve mostly just been stressed about work, overwhelmed, and completely over worked. I need to take this step back to appreciate the energies that keep me going throughout the day.

The Goddess and God

One of the coolest parts about Wicca is the fact that there isn’t a “correct” deity to worship. Or even a deity at all, if you so choose.

A lot of Wiccans follow Greek and Celtic deities. Although you can follow other ones such as Egyptian, African, or it’s possible to even make up your own.

My Goddess is Greek. She goes by the name Aphrodite, and She is the Goddess of love, beauty, and sex.

It was overwhelming at first to figure out she was my Goddess. I was chosen by her, although it is possible that you can choose your own deity.

Aphrodite came to me in a dream. She was standing next to me with her long, voluminous dark auburn hair reaching down to her mid section, smiling at me with her painted red lips. Her eyes twinkled and she touched the golden rose crown on her head. She pulled a brass key from one of the roses and held it in her hand. She offered the key to me, and let me know that she would be my guide.

All of a sudden, I woke up with a jolt. I sat straight up in bed and was filled with a euphoric feeling. I felt as if my heart was going to explode from joy. A smile spread across my face as I layer back down, perfectly content, and honored that she chose me.

A key symbolizes her offering to unlock the knowledge of The Craft. She wants to act as my guide to show me the way of Wicca.

The next night I had a dream that I was standing in a rose garden, smelling each one and letting the scent become a part of my air ways. Aphrodite stood behind a rose bush. One of the roses was wilting. She bent down and caressed the flower, gently bringing her lips to it. The rose regained life and was beautiful once again.

After this second dream, I had no doubt that she was indeed calling to me. I am so honored to have her as my deity. I have always fancied her. I have always admired her strong sense of feminism and her confidence. Her energy is so uplifting and motivating.

I am still searching for my God. Maybe he will come to me. Maybe I will feel a pull towards a God soon enough. I was lucky to have Aphrodite make her way to me so early in my Wiccan journey. The least I can do is be patient while I wait for my God.

For the time being, I have been researching Gods. I seem to be pulled towards Greek, but I am keeping an open mind, and looking into other Gods as well.

Coming Home to Wicca

I was raised strictly Catholic growing up. I attended Sunday Mass every single week. I learned about the Bible and Jesus during Sunday School. I absolutely hated Sunday School. The teacher was about eighty years old, and had the sharpest facial features that made it seem like she could cut you with a whip of her head. She had a very nasty, sour attitude that made it uncomfortable to be near her.

I called bullshit on Catholicism shortly after having her as an instructor. I remember asking in class one day, “How can we be sure that Jesus was real?” She looked at me and smiled, and I thought, “Oh no, this is it. She’s going to punish me for asking a question like that.” But she came over to me and went to her knees, hands resting upon the table.

“Sweetheart, let me tell you a story. I was painting the garage one summer. The paint was worn down and desperately needed to be reapplied. My husband had died a few years prior, and I never got around to finishing a lot of tasks that needed to be completed. So I got up on the ladder with my bucket of paint and paint brush, and started working. The ladder started to wobble, and suddenly it was falling backwards. I knew that I was going to die. I prayed and prayed in those few short seconds. But I opened my eyes and the ladder adjusted itself to stand strong again.” She had tears in her eyes at this point. I thought she was going to start bawling.

“Ma’am, it’s not wise to tell such stories.” I said, biting my lip to keep my grin from spreading ear to ear. I swear that she looked like she had just witnessed the Devil in with her own eyes. She stepped back and put her hand over my heart and snorted.

I never stepped foot in Sunday school after that incident.

Hearing that story, made me disbelieve in the Catholic religion. The story my teacher told me was undoubtedly made up, at least exaggerated to some degree. It didn’t take me long to realize religion wasn’t for me. If the Catholic “God” was real, why did this woman of God need to lie to gather followers? I didn’t like that.

I lived the next thirteen or so years as an atheist. And it was incredibly difficult, coming from a Catholic family. For the most part, I had a very accepting family who only forced me to go to church on occasion. We moved shortly after this happened and I attended Bible Study classes to keep my mother happy, even though I didn’t really believe in any of it. I was there for more a social visit anyways.

I would always cling to facts and science to explain the world. I told myself that ancient Gods and Goddesses were created as an imagination technique to explain phenomenons, and common things that we didn’t have scientific evidence of yet. I believed people made up these Gods and Goddesses to describe things such as the sun setting, lightning storms, stars in the sky. I tried to find scientific evidence for every single thing. I refused to believe anything was “Fate” or anything was “Destined”. Magic, miracles, all of that crap. I didn’t believe it.

About two months ago, something inside me told me to look up the word “Wicca”. To be honest, I had no idea what this even was. I’d never even heard of the word. I knew what a “Witch” was. Kind of. I knew the Hollywood representation of the witch. I thought of things like pointed black hats, long flowing robes, big giant cauldrons with a ladle. I thought of bat wings in jars and other magic spell ingredients lined on a shelf. I thought of green skin and warts.

What I researched blew my mind instantly. I found that I related very identically to a lot of the Wiccan aspects. For instance, I get a strange surge of energy when I am outside. When my bare toes are in the grass, I can feel the energy swim through my toes to disperse throughout my entire body. I can feel the caress of the wind on my cheek, whispering words as it whistles by. I can feel the tree branches stretching, as they give me the air to breathe.

I’ve always had a strong connection to animals as well. I’ve spent a lot of time researching this, but can’t find something to tie it to in Wicca. What I believe it is, is that the animals are hypersensitive to the energy I’m giving off. They can sense that the energy I am emitting is pure, and that I am aware of the role nature plays in my life. In the cycle of life as well. I think the fact that I acknowledge them, and respect them, is grounds for them to respect me as well.

I have always been an extreme empath. Ever since I could think for myself. The emotions of others seems to seep deep into me. Whether the emotions be negative or positive. It can truly be irritating at times. When someone is emitting negative energy, I absorb it, and instantly I am negative and irritated. I’ve heard there are certain stones that can control this, so I will have to test out those theories.

The one concept that threw me off a little, was of the God and Goddess. I went without believing in religion for over ten years. How could I just give that up? Even though a lot of other aspects related to me. I let this sit on my brain. I had given up hope for Wicca for about a week. Finding that worshipping a God/Goddess just wasn’t in my cards.

I went to bed one night during that week, Wicca still constantly on my mind, like a forbidden lover. I closed my eyes and said to myself, “If this is real. Please, give me a sign. Give me something to believe in.” I sighed, and then drifted off to dream land. I’ve always been one to focus on evidence. The sole practice of “just believing” never really did it for me. I was always one to need proof to truly understand something.

It goes without saying, I got my proof that night. I had a dream that night. I had a dream that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Sex, and Beauty handed me a key. A key to unlocked the knowledge and true meaning of being a Wiccan.

I awoke with a sudden jolt and was filled with the best feeling I’ve ever felt. The feeling was comparable to how I felt on my wedding day. My heart just felt so full and I thought I was going to explode with joy.

I realized that I had been chosen by my Goddess. She gave me the sign that I so desperately needed. She let me know that there is a reason to believe, and the key will help me do just that.

Through deciding that being a Wiccan is truly who I am, I’ve never felt more alive. I’ve never felt more energized. I feel like there is now a purpose in my life, and I have something to constantly look forward to. I am still learning. Learning every single day, and learning new things about this beautiful journey.

I hope to document my journey through this blog. Explaining my processes and trails through this.

I understand how difficult it really can be to realize a certain religion isn’t for you. I struggled with spiritual identification for the longest time. I was never truly happy with being an atheist. I wasn’t happy in the slightest being Catholic. But Wicca? I feel like I’m home.