April 28, 2010

Coven or solitary? A musing for Beltaine

In my younger days I followed a free path. I did what felt right and was right for that moment.

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.


Lynn said...

I so needed to hear this this morning. Once again, I learn from you and am grateful to you for sharing your life and thoughts with us. Blessed Be

Kathy said...

You have no idea how timely your post is for me today. This is the direction my heart has been trying to take for over a year and I just wouldn't let it go there, thinking I needed established ritual in my life. Thank you so much.

FairiesNest said...

Lovely lovely post! This speaks to the path I follow and I thank you for it!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I agree completely -- rituals and celebrations that come from the heart are much more meaningful and successful than overly-controlled "staged" rituals which usually just come from the head.

Blue Witch said...

"Whatever's written in your heart, that's all that matters."

As Gerry Rafferty said.

The feeling of need for group recogntion and validation lessesn as one becomes more secure in one's Powers, I am convinced.

Freyalyn said...

What a wise and thoughtful post. Thank you.

Kristina said...

Never a truer word spoken!! Thought I replied yesterday but did not come through :)

laoi gaul~williams said...

what a lovely post :)

my pagan path has been a 'long and winding road' to steal those famous words!
for many years i just followed my heart, then i thought i should become less solitary~but like you all the organised rituals and words just did not ring true~i was even forced into the validity of my path because it was not in line with others paths (how brain-washed was i?!) but over the past few years i have learnt my own solitary path is just as valid as any other and my non-ritual rituals are the same~my god and godess hears me whatever and wherever :)

thank you!!!

Kandi said...

Thank you for Sharing. For myself I find that things that truly come from the heart are a blessing to all. From those that receive, to the giver and the world around. Thank you for sharing. It make it know to some that even though they do something differently, they still share with many. May the Beltaine Fires cleanse and create much beauty and movement. Many Beltaine Blessings.

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