Duality in Deity

This is a topic that people debate all the time. I cannot even come close to explaining in any depth on my lil blog, so I am just going to give you enough to make you research and decide for yourselves. In some of the most prominent religions there is only one God. In Wicca, we have two. The God and the Goddess.

Some people who practiced a previous religion find these names to bring them a negative feeling or image, and prefer to use the term, Lord and Lady. We may call upon the different  gods and goddesses in our practice, but aren’t they all the same ultimate concept of the God and Goddess.  Wiccan believe in balance and harmony. Just like there is good and evil, light and dark, life and death, we all possess qualities of male and female. 

When people leave a religion that focuses primarily on one god/goddess they tend to worship the neglected god/goddess exclusively in the new religion. However deny one half does not make us whole, or In other words “too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you”. We need to strive and find the correct balance between the two in order to find harmony within ourselves.

We need to find the middle ground in our worship.  Just like Yin and Yang, you cannot have a feminine goddess without the masculine god.  We may call upon a god or goddess more than the other due to the nature of our work or the holiday that we are celebrating.  When requesting strength and fortitude, it is natural to call upon a god, just as we would call upon a goddess when requiring compassion and understanding. However during those times when we need all of the above or during Beltane, when lust is in the air, it is a necessity to call upon both the Lord and the Lady.

When you stand on one side of the canoe, you will most likely tip it over. Only by standing in the center can you hope to remain afloat.  We must remember that in denying the duality of deity, we deny the duality that exists within us all.

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Death

Posted On February 20, 2012

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Sorry guys for being absent the last two weeks. Things have gotten chaotic and crazy, just when I think things are getting better, the bottom drops out.  I will try and finish my blogs for the letter C, but I wanted to get this posted. This one was real easy to write.    D is for Death.

What is death? Some see it as final, the end. Others see it as a new non – physical form of life. Either way the soul has moved on and the body dies. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, from where came, all return. It is the circle of life….However among those of us who practice the Tarot; we understand the positive qualities of Death.  Out of death comes rebirth. It is a time of our foundations falling apart and feeling like we are dying so that new and better things can take flight.  New crops cannot grow until the old ones have returned to the earth with their seeds, which will become the next harvest.  In this way the Death card is a blessing in disguise.  The destruction (or so we think at that time) of our lives, enable us to remove people, things, and actions that are holding us back, bringing us down, and causing negativity.    Death brings the positive into our lives, by ridding ourselves of the old habits; we allow better situations and paths to open up to us. We marvel in the many new bright opportunities that are presented before us.  We are like the tree coming back to live, with many branches leading to new heights.  We find that by eliminating our old destructives ways, we are able to see the many blessings that are right in front of us.  Death can be a terrible time or it can be an exciting one, depending on how we handle the transformation.  As my mother says when one door closes, another one opens, and if not then go out the window.  We may not understand the new path our lives are taking, but we will eventually see the wisdom in it.

Brighid

Posted On January 27, 2012

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 BrighidHey guys hope your week was better than mine. Just kind of down in the dumps. Anyway, last week I mentioned    that I was going to write about Brighid and was instead put on the path of Books. This week I started on Beltane and found myself back to Brighid. I guess it has to do with the holiday next week,  Brighids Day , Imbolc, even Groundhogs’ Day.?  February 1 or February 2?  You need to have a little background in order to understand the significance of this date.  12 years ago, my best friend said to me “do not get married in an odd number year , they never last.” I laughed because I wasn’t even engaged. So I told her “fine, I’ll get married 2-2-2.”  Little did I know that by Christmas 2000 I would be engaged and 02-02-02 would be on a Saturday.  For me it was a very spiritual ceremony, and completely shocking to my mother considering I’m the pagan of the family. To my soon to be EX, it was Groundhog’s Day. He even wanted to find a groundhog cake topper. That should have given me some insight, because he didn’t see the deeper shared meaning in each name.. Being of Irish decent, this is a very important holiday to me and deserves its own post. So I’m only going to focus on Brighid as it seems she is calling to me(or me to her) .Brighid is represented as three sister goddess, all named Brighid. Some say she is the classic triple goddess figure, and others say she is three distinct goddesses, all named Brighid, known by their personalities and traits. Personally I think she is a triple goddess, even the Maiden, Mother, Crown has distinct personalities and traits  She is the goddess of Poety, Smithcraft, and Healing, home, and hearth.  She is a goddess of regeneration and abundance. Brighid is known for her generosity to the people. She fed birds, animals, and the poor without discrimination to anyone.   To the Celts, milk was a sacred food due to its purity and nourishment.  The cow represents the motherhood and the ability to sustain life thru nourishment.. Brighid is always seen with her two oxen Fea and Feimhean.  In her goddess story she is the Daughter of Dagda and the Morrighan and sister to Ogma, a Sun God and the Creator of the Ogham. With Bres of the Fomorians, She had three sons – Ruadan, Iuchar and Uar  At the battle of  Moytura, Ruadan killed the metalsmith of the Fomorians, but Ruadan was himself was killed in the process.  Brighid’s grief was so profound that it was the first keening heard throughout Ireland.  Her grief was not only for the loss of her son, but also for the hatred that exists between maternal and paternal sides of families. She is honored as the great mother and a goddess of Peace and Unity.

 In her role as Saint Brighid, when she was a child, a fire was seen rising from the house where she and her mother were asleep.  Brighid began to pray to God and the flames did not burn the house She emerged unharmed, but “full of the grace of the Holy Spirit.  She was later supposed to have been the midwife present at the birth of Jesus. and became the foster mother to Jesus. It is said that she wove a web to protect and hide them from enemies when Jesus was a babe. She wore a headdress of candles to safely guide them out of the forest.  She is credited with feeding 17 churches from a portion of her malt. She could change water into ale and stone into salt  Her Shrine at Kildare was believed to be an ancient college for women.  The priestesses preserved the old ways of sciences and healing remedies.  . They  would tend to sacred wells, groves, caves and hills and the perpetual fire  The perpetual flame   was tended by nineteen nuns over a period of nineteen days. On the twentieth day, Brigid Herself is said to keep the fire burning.  At Kildare,near her spring, an upright stone tablet bears two crosses on either side. One is a Christian cross, the other is the cross of Saint Brigit, the fiery sun-wheel turning.

So what is Brighid trying to tell me? Let’s put everything together. 

This is a time of renewal and the light is coming back into our lives after a long dark winter.  Brighid’s Day is a time to clean out the clutter in our lives, whether physical or mental.  We need to make room in order to grow.  While the days are still in the dark time, it is a time for us to become reflective. What do we want for the coming year? What do we hope to achieve? What would we like to enter our lives? It is a time to clarify and set our goals for the months to come   It is a time of new beginnings. We need to nourish and nurture our thoughts and ideas.  It is also a time of re-dedication and connection with the diety.  It is a wonderful time to rid ourselves of anything that gets in the way of us hearing Spirit and acting with our best interest at heart. 

This year I’m calling it my “Freedom Day”. I’ve spent the last months getting rid of those things that are not in my best interest. I’m now becoming reflective on what do I truly want in my life and how do I think I can accomplish those things.  The slate has been wiped cleaned and the creative idea has been born  Now I just have to fight to keep it all alive until they can take firm root……

Books

Posted On January 23, 2012

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It’s funny how ideas and plans change.  As a single parent with 3 children it is very rare to have a weekend with not one of them around.   No one to demand my attention or require taxi services from me. This was to be a perfect weekend. However the Goddess tends to give us what we need, even when we ourselves do not know. So my perfect weekend to go out, spend time with friends and not have to clock watch, turned into a weekend of being in my pj’s and playing video games. It was exactly what I needed after the weeks of stress. Anyway this week, I was going to write about Bridget. However that changed. I was surfing the net and stumbled across sites that are hosting a year long book challenge.  Basically you have to pick a number of books to read for the year. As I find myself in a soul searching path at this time; I related instantly to the idea behind this challenge. Read books that will enhance your spiritual growth. This challenge resulted in me changing my topic to BOOKS. Books have been around for over 5000 years. Books have the ability to transport any reader to a far away land. They have the ability to transform the reader into any person in the story. It is a way to dream and to escape.  These are the books that I pick up when I don’t want to think too much.  On the other side of things, books also have the ability to educate us. As a child, we may not like this, as an adult we appreciate it. As an avid reader, my bookshelf is over flowing.  I have books that are Wiccan, American Indian, Irish, Greek, and many others. They are religious, spiritual, and historical. Some of them I have read cover to back (on several occasions), some I have used for specific content (and never actually read beyond that), and some are dog eared on almost every page (these are my go to books). In my opinion, books are not only informative but also fun.  Sometimes I just ask a question and open a book to whatever page feels right and start to read. It’s amazing how many times I have found the insight that I needed (Now that everyone thinks I’m crazy…).  The point is that every one of them provided me with the answers I needed, for whatever the problem was at that time.  I decided that this year, not only will I keep the blog, but I am also going to read some of my books again and maybe splurge on a new one(if I can afford it). I hope that through them, I will find the answers to the questions that I have. I believe that the Goddess will point the way for me. She always has, and I don’t think she will stop now…  I decided to list some of my favorite books. They may not be on the recommended reading list for my craft, but they provided knowledge to me when I needed it. So I hope if you find yourselves with some time, you may pick up one and either read one for the first time or re-read it for the hundredth.

“Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner” Scott Cunningham:  

“Living Wicca, A further guide for the solitary practitioner” Scott Cunningham 

“To ride a silver broomstick: New generation Witchcraft” Silver Ravenwolf

 “To light a sacred flame: Practical witchcraft for the Millennium” Silver Ravenwolf: 

 “Teen Witch: Wicca for a new generation” Silver Ravenwolf

“Spiral dance: A rebirth of the ancient religion of the Great Goddess” Starhawk,

“Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions” Starhawk (Author

“Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up” Ellen Dugan  

“Dancing with the Wheel: The Medicine Wheel Workbook” 

“Drawing down the moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess worshipers and other Pagans in America today” Margot Adler,

“Buckland’s complete book of Witchcraft” Raymond Buckland

 

 

Affections

Posted On January 13, 2012

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I’ve been thinking about this topic since I finished my last blog.  In trying to find myself again, I asked a basic question. What drew me to Wicca to begin with? Then and now, I craved connection: to others, to nature, to something beyond myself.  Wicca provided an answer.  It is a very old religion for the love of life and nature. We celebrate life through laughter, singing, dancing, feasting, and love. We find pleasure in all that surrounds us. The trees, oceans, sky, Earth and animals are all gifts for us to enjoy and it was through this belief system that I found connection.  In Wicca we strive to find harmony in the relationship between ourselves and the concept of the goddess.  Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. Nothing is perfect, and love and trust are two words that evoke deep emotions and require a lot of affection from people.  What I mean by this is that: While emotions are the feelings that we experience, affections are the work that we must put into a relationship for it to grow.  It is the social interaction between beings either on a Physical, verbal or mental level. It can be through respect, a sense of humor, generosity, sharing, praising, taking care of, making love or just sharing time together with family, friends, or nature. Affection is the way we show others that they are important to us   It is the way we are shown that we are important to others. The intensity of the affection varies, depending upon each specific relationship.  Affection makes us feel secure and wanted.  It is a basic necessity that all of us need to survive and is not limited by geography or culture.  Wicca requires us to soul search and look at our relationships.  Are we destroying some relationships by giving negative affection?  Are we putting more affection into a relationship than we are getting back? Have some relationships deteriorated to the point of no affection being returned? Wicca teaches us that all life is wonderful, precious, and special. If the affection we are receiving or giving is not making us or others feel this way, then it may be time to walk away.   This applies not only to our relationships with other people, but also to our relationship with our belief system.  My intent this week was to explore human to human affection and our need for it. However, I realize that in all of the chaos that I call my life, one basic truth still remains: My relationship with the goddess is still strong. I still share my time with her. I am able to find the humor in difficult situations through my understanding of her and quite frequently look to her for guidance at these times. Do I have doubts about where I am going? Absolutely. Do I worry that I will fail? Sometimes. Do I worry that my burdens will be many? I know they will. However I know that the goddess always makes us go through difficulties in order to appreciate the rewards that she grants us. My affection for goddess is as unwavering now, as it was when I first found her. I am devoted to her and she makes me feel wonderful, precious, and special.

Pagan Blog Project – Affirmation

Posted On January 6, 2012

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So today of all days, while trying to find answers on the internet, I stumble across the Pagan Blog Project.  A blog every Friday that relates to my magical path. Therein lies the issue, I’ve lost my way and myself.  My world has burnt to the ground. Maybe out of those ashes, the Pheonix will rise again? So I’ve decided to participate in this project not only to get back on path, but also hopefully to find myself along the way.

Affirmation: The assertion that something exists or is true. A statement or proposition that is declared to be true.  Confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc.

Sounds confusing, but in reality it isn’t. I’ve always insisted that I am a strong, independent woman. I have the ability to do anything I wish to do, and nobody can hold me back but myself. Well sometimes we get lost, or lose ourselves along our journey. We get trapped in the everyday, seemingly endless chores. We are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends. We forget that one special person, Ourselves. In forgetting to nourish her, we become stagnant, sick, depressed, angry, bitter, and resentful to those around us.  During those times, we need to take a step back and do a couple of things.

1) Make time for ourselves: We cannot take care of everyone else if we cannot take care of ourselves. Take that bath: Light a candle, turn off the lights and just relax in a tub of bubbles. Guess what, the kids, husband, and chores will still be there when you get done. The house won’t fall apart.

2) Remember that we can only offer advice; we cannot make others take that advice. Don’t get mad if someone doesn’t listen to you. Don’t turn away from them. Just be there for them when things don’t work out, because more than likely they will need a shoulder to cry on. Be a friend.

3) Re-evaluate your own personal situation. Are you happy? You can’t make anyone else happy, if you’re not happy. Have you given everything of yourself to others and forgotten your own dreams and wishes? Maybe it’s time to pull that painting out and finish it, or find that other job you’ve been talking about. Whatever it is, Do it. Do whatever it is that will make you feel complete, for that is the way to happiness.

Great advice, right? Well it is very rare when we can listen to our own advice. So after 3 long years of being miserable, I finally did that re-evaluation thing. I walked away from almost 10 years of marriage with 3 children in tow. I now find myself worrying about paying the bills, keeping a roof over our heads, putting food on the table, and being able to juggle being a mother with a career. Goddess teaches us that words can manifest into the phyical, so choose our words carefully.  For 6 weeks, I have been saying my affirmation over and over again. Some days it’s harder, but other days it becomes easier. Either way I find myself happier, healthier, and looking forward to the next step along my journey. I AM A STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN. I CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING I WANT TO DO. NOBODY CAN HOLD ME BACK BUT MYSELF.