Including my children and husband in my craeft is proving to be an incredible learning experience for me. In exploring my thoughts on Imbolc and deciding how best to include my family, I have learned a lot about myself and my own beliefs.
One reality I have faced about myself recently is that no matter how hard I try, the truth is – I am just not a very “deity-oriented” witch. My craeft is far less focused on worship and ritual than I have observed is the case for many of my pagan counterparts. My tradition seems to be more centered about Earth “honoring” as opposed to worship and more focused on communion with the Elementals rather than with specific deities. I’m not saying that I don’t include any ritualistic practice or worship in my craeft; nor am I saying that I do not believe in or worship the Lord and Lady. I am not even saying that either of these approaches are wrong, even for me – they just don’t come natural for me.
The fact is I have to work very, very hard to make a ritual happen. I am a great planner – I am just not a great doer. By the time I finally get around to it, the spirit and intention behind the works have worn away rendering them, well, not very affective. In general, my most spontaneous works tend to be my most powerful, which is why I include so little ritual in my craeft.
Similarly, I struggle with the concept of worship - probably with much thanks to my early Christian background, worship in its most obvious form, has proven very uncomfortable for me. I believe worship should be celebratory practice and come from a place of peace and love – but for me, the whole process is so uncomfortable that I can’t be at peace – and generally my mood is far from celebratory; so again, I have found ways to “worship” without traditional “worship.” I focus my energy on honoring the deities through honoring the earth and all her inhabitants with love, patience, and seva (selfless work).
Finally, I have always had a hard time with attaching myself to specific ideas of deity. I don’t have an existing pantheon to which I am culturally bound or even most drawn to; and while I have always found the traditional stories about specific deities and the histories, rituals and particular strengths attributed to them, interesting –I just haven’t found one that feels relevant to my practice. I can’t help feeling that by giving the divine a specific name, I am somehow limiting my understanding of the limitless.
If you think about it, naming is a very human obsession – we name people and things to define them in terms that we can understand. Naming something defines not only what it is, but what it isn’t. When is the last time you looked at something without naming it? Can you look at a rock without knowing it as a rock and see it for the infinite possibility of what it could be? Naming it defines it and in a sense, limits its possibility. It’s the same for the divine – no name I could give the Lord or Lady could come anywhere close to defining the All and Nothing that they really are. No idea is grand enough.
Am I the only one?
I’ve done a lot of reading and listening online and it really seems that this is not an issue for most pagans out there. Most witches I know are very comfortable with ritual, worship is a part of everyday life, and nearly all seem to have a specific pantheon of Gods and Goddesses with whom they can identify themselves with. Am I the only one?
How do you all feel about ritual? Is your practice planned and routine or do you take a more spontaneous path?
Do you formally worship the Lord and Lady? If you do – how? What works for you?
And finally – what Gods and Goddesses are you drawn to? Do you include the Elementals in your craeft?
I’m really hoping to hear from you.
Blessings and Namaste,