Sunday, March 29, 2015

Frenemies and Other Teachers.

Blessings on this Spring Morning, My Beloveds!

So, I've found myself in a conundrum which I've encountered many times in this life and I've despised it every single time!

It began in grade school with, "if you're "so and so's" friend, you can't be mine! "Why?", being the obvious question.  The answer was simple, "Because "I" don't like her".  It didn't matter whether I knew this person well or whether I had a reason to dislike them, this was the unofficial "Rule of Friendship."

I was a very shy kid growing up and because of this, I didn't make friends easily, so for me, this was the Kiss of Death.  It filled my little anxious heart with dread!  Why did I have to choose?  Why did I have to lose a friend to keep a friend? Why was I being asked to treat someone unfairly because of the opinion of others?  Why would I think this is the kind of thing that fades with childhood....

Recently, I had considered attending the Hexfest conference in New Orleans.  The presenters are some of the very best I could imagine being assembled in one place.  The organizers of the conference, Christian Day and Brian Cain, notorious in their own right, apparently have offended some within my immediate community. Who knew?! This was the first time I was hearing of this and at this writing, still do not have many of the details of the same.  What I do know was that some of my friends were unhappy with my decision and discouraged me from supporting the event.

Again,  I was back in grade school.  Do I know Christian Day or Brian Cain?  I know of them. I've heard rumblings within the Wiccan community about them.  I visited Christian's shops in Salem and New Orleans. I belong to both Brian's and Christian's groups on Facebook.  I don't know enough about either to offer a valid  personal opinion of either of them.  What I do know is that they've organized a conference with a kick ass line up of very experienced and highly respected teachers.  If you know my level of passion for this Path, you know this is all I need to know.

Tell me, if Gerald Gardner were one of the presenters, you wouldn't put personal opinions aside and go? Something tells me you're not so sure! :)

What does one do in this situation?  Of course, I want to be loyal to those I consider family.  It upsets me to think that anyone would do something to hurt them.   Still, isn't this a little like cutting off my nose to spite my face?  Of course, I could not go and earn the respect of those that are near and dear to my heart.  But, then I also give up the opportunity to learn from some very gifted people, whom I also truly admire and with whom there is no such issue.

It's kind of like the situation in which you find yourself when two beloved friends are divorcing.  Of course you love them both.  The last thing you want is to see their marriage end.  You've heard all the reasons for its demise, from both sides. Despite trying to convince yourself otherwise, you may have already decided whose fault it was that the marriage ended.  Often friends are divvied up like acquired personal possessions.  His side versus her side.  If you are truly a friend, your position is not one of judgement, but of healthy support of both.  You learn to put your personal judgments aside for them, as well as the sake of your relationship to them.

Things can get entirely too complicated when friendships collide.  It ultimately puts you in a position of choice or loss.  I believe people are put on our paths in this life for a reason, whether we dislike them or not, whether we agree with their opinions, their personal choices, etc.  They ultimately have something to teach us.  Don't believe me?  Think about the best and worst relationships in your life and what you learned from each.

In the end, we may not ever find the "perfect" interpersonal relationship balance, but in that imperfection, we might find the perfect teacher.

In Darkness, Light!


PS: Sadly, I couldn't swing Hexfest this year.  If someone would like to set up GoFundMe for next year entitled, "Send Tracy to HexFext 2016", it would be greatly appreciated!  :)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sacred Circles or "Knot"

Blessed Morning, my Beloveds!

I was raised Catholic. Loosely raised, to say the very least, but Catholic all the same.  I went through all the sacraments from baptism to confirmation.  I was wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony. So how did I end up here, 20 years later, practicing Wicca?

When we are raised in the religious beliefs of our families, there is a gradual acceptance of what our beliefs should be.  Our parents may take us to church, as was true for me. We were taught about prayer, about God, most often, from a monotheistic perspective.  Our concept of whether we are spiritually fulfilled was more or less taken for granted.  We settled comfortably into the religious path chosen for us by our family.  What more can we ask for?

It's when those things, no matter how devout we are in our practices, don't meet our spiritual needs that we are thrown out of balance.  We may not even realize that this is the "something missing" from our lives.

Still, those beliefs that were handed down as part of our families heritage may be the hardest to leave behind, no matter how unfulfilled by them we may feel.  We may not have a problem with the religion we practice or the Deities we worship, per se.   We may feel a sense of loyalty and affection for them and yet, we feel overwhelmingly drawn to something that we can't quite explain.  For me, that something was Witchcraft.

That is not to say that this transition was an easy one.  I viewed my own "seeking" with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.  It's a strange feeling to be both absolutely certain and yet conflicted all at the same time.  Then there are the questions, "Don't you believe in God?", "Don't you love Jesus Christ?   These didn't only come from others, but from my conscience as well.  At that time, there were no clearly defined answers.  Yes, I believe in a Universal Divine, that is neither male or female, but has aspects of both. Yes, I have a deep affection and respect for Jesus Christ and his teachings, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.  I felt as if I was being "unfaithful" to my faith.  Holy crap! I was breaking #7 of the Ten Commandments!

Then I got over it :)

It happened one day as I grappled with these internal questions and conflicts. I asked for guidance, although, I wasn't entirely sure whom I was asking.  I was late driving to work that morning and as I rushed from my car, I noticed something on the pavement near the door. I didn't really have time to investigate further and had forgotten all about it as I began my day.  Later, as I approached my car, I realized it was still there.  It was a small black velvet mojo bag.  I picked it up and inside was a square silver medallion with the Triquetra embossed on it.

The Triquetra is a Celtic symbol that predates Christianity, but has been used by Christians to represent the Holy Trinity.  In Neopaganism, it is used to represent the Triple Goddess; Maiden, Mother and Crone.   It also is a symbol of life, death and rebirth.  

I felt as though I'd found my answer.  Until this writing, I never realized how accurate a message that was.

Having had a passion for root working for quite a while, I rely heavily on the Christian Saints, the Psalms and the Bible in my work.    As I become more connected with these practices, I realize the endless possibilities that the Deities offer us, in whatever form they take, when we don't limit them based on our  preconceived notions what we can or can not believe.  While the Triquetra  is considered a "knot", for me it's a symbol of life coming full circle.

No worries.  I'm not going to breaking into "The Circle of Life". :)

In Darkness, Light!