Coven or solitary? A musing for Beltaine
From a young child I'd always worked rituals with my nan as she made potions to help people with various ailments. She followed the wheel of the year in a country way, she lived on a farm and nature showed her the path.
You would call her a wise woman or wood witch I guess. I think I spent a lot of time with her because I was ill so much as a child and in and out of hospital. When home she took pity on me and my quest for knowledge and taught me what she knew.
As I grew out of my teens I started to read witchcraft books from the library, Crowley, Sybil Leek and others. I found that my path had a name. I embraced this and wanted to learn all I could of the different traditions.
So then I followed a more traditional route on my pagan path.
I became part of covens, I did a neophyte course with an established coven.
This involved much inner journeying and soul searching.
I suspect any traveller on the pagan path has this journey to make. Indeed I'm still on the path.
At times it felt as though my dream work was done to an established pattern. It is such a time in your learning so your dreams should contain this, kind of thing.
I ignored my inner voice of reason. The one that said this isn't you or what you want.
I was too young to speak up. They had been doing this for years after all so surely they knew best?
Eventually I realised that learning lines for rituals ,that appeared to be mere stage plays, wasn't for me. It wasn't who I am.
Some of that could have been nudged by the HP slapping my hands when I forgot her lines and spoke from the heart.
My path had to be a heart path.
Later coven forays were somewhat better and more spontaneous but still not who I felt I was.
The dressing up in robes was fun but I needed more.
I then began a casual circle. A get together to celebrate the turn of the wheel. Friends and their families celebrating with fun and games and feasting.
Honouring the old ways in a freer spirit.
Egg decorating at Ostara and egg hunts in the garden. Treasure hunts with clues to solve.
Yule tide games and gifts.
A joy for all ages and for me an honest attempt to follow the spiral .
Now I celebrate as I choose.
Free to sit in woods or by water. Free to commune with the old ones in any way that feels right.
I find this path now is far more magical for who I am.
Ritual simplified but none the less effective.
Calling on the elements and the aspects of the Lord and the Lady that are right for this now.
That changes as I change.
The traditional rigid path works for some, indeed for many.
But not for this witch.
I need the flow of energy of the land as it comes on the day.
The old ones do listen if you speak with respect and from the heart.
They hear you without any of the trappings of mask and robe.
Without lines learnt before hand.
Why not try it?
Speak the words in YOUR heart.
You maybe surprised at the reply.