Sunday, December 5, 2010
This is the final month of the Western calender's year. While the Witches New Year's has already occurred with Samhain, I still get a charge from the celebration of when the year changes in history noted by the Western calender. So now that it is December I have been giving lots of thoughts to all that I have achieved this year in addition to those plans that were unachievable, because of obstacles, and the currents of my aims, and goals being blocked. A stream of consciousness needs to flow, but there are many instances that can be barriers to this flow, and sometimes they are beyond our capacity of control. Therefore, much of this year has been about me finding the power within myself to let go. I have managed to create a lot of positive growth in my life irregardless of the adjustments I have had to make do to the changing currents of my life's own flow. What I feel that Wicca has brought to my daily engagement with living has been an empowerment that has not held me safe in a cradle of ineffectiveness, but has developed my will, and intentions in step with my aspirations.
This month the moon is known by many names, it is sometimes difficult to settle on one name as with some moons there are many sources, and names for them, but for this month I have chosen to stick with the names of the 'Oak Moon', 'The Moon of Long Night's', and 'The Reed Moon'.
I like the title of the 'Oak Moon' because it speaks of the lore of the Goddess giving birth to the Sun, and Oak King at Yule. The New Moon is growing tonight out of the dark, and soon will shine with the glowing maiden beauty of the Crescent, which is when I will celebrate with my New Moon Esbat. It is this New Moon Goddess energy of fresh starts, and new beginnings that is most special to me in my life, as I am persistently working on building my life into the way I would like it to be for the coming years as I embark on my personal career, and in my spirituality as a Pagan Witch.
For this New Moon I will be calling on the divine presence of the Celtic Goddess Arianhod - Starry Wheel. For she is a Goddess of Moon, stars, and sea. She brings poetic inspiration, and is an eternal Virgin mother. She shapeshifts into a giant white owl, and it is said that she can see into the depths of one's soul with her owl's eyes. She has her palace, and throne in the North, and it is said that the Northern lights are where her palace resides. She is called forth to protect, and guide her followers with a kindly heart. She is also said to lead the dead to their afterlife, and this speaks of her being a Goddess of fate, destiny, and karma. Since it is my fate that I must take charge of, and pull tight the reigns of, so that I can steer my life into the direction that I most want it to go, she is a fitting Goddess to bring into my heart at this time as the Winter Solstice, and Yule approaches.
My ritual will be short and sweet. What I have been doing regularly is prior to the rites, I like to gather research upon the Goddess & God I'm working with for ritual, and then write up some prose that sums up their characteristic traits, including within the prose some notes to them about what I would like for them to help me with. I will write a separate Calling & Departing for each deity, and read it aloud in my circle after I have called the quarter elements/elementals. Once this is done I will also read some research prose that expresses the theme of the ritual, which may be a New Moon, Full Moon Esbat, or Sabbat. I don't really do Spell work at this time, and just prefer to highlight my celebration as an observance, but what I have been doing regularly is to take a blank sheet of paper, and for both the Goddess & God, I will draw an image of how I see them, then ask them for councel, which I will then transcribe as I hear it spoken to me. I just let the words come to my mind, and then write. Whether this is mere imagination, intuition, or actual communication coming from the deities themselves is not something that I can prove, or negate in anyway. What I have discovered is that with each deities persona, there seems to be unique responses that align with the characteristics I have uncovered about them in research. Also, much of what is taken down as what I like to call counsel is actually very helpful to me. It is positive, motivational, and it answers to my questions. So, in many ways this is similar to something like Tarot reading, or other means of divination where I draw upon intuition to read the cards that are drawn. I have had fun with this, so it is something that I have worked into my rites. Depending on my mood, and the amount of time I wish to spend in ritual, I will also have a ritual snack of offering in circle. There is a very sacred, and comforting space created within the circle that in itself seems to be an energetic spot to be, and I've noticed that the more I take my time to soak up this energy the more beneficial it's effects seem to be in my life as the days after ritual pass.
I have also noticed that since I have been observing the New Moons, Full Moons and Sabbats that the space in between these events are marked by my being more in tune with the changing of the seasons, and the pagan monthly movements of nature. I am seeing the passage of time in moons rather than suns. I am also looking to nature around my urban environment more than usual. I have always noticed nature in the city, but now I am tuned into it as though there is more than just a reverence for it, but now there's more of an affinity towards the life. I have been feeding the pigeons what spare morsels I save, and they now recognize me when I come by. I have been appreciating the trees more wherever they may be, and I am more capable of forecasting the changing weather by looking to the clouds and sky.
This month will be the first Yule I've celebrated since coming back to the Craft after my many years of only mentally noting it alongside the traditional Christmas celebration. I believe that they can go hand in hand, and will continue to enjoy both festivities. After all Christmas is just an extension of Yule as Christianity borrowed many of the original pagan celebrations, and fit them to their own rites. Finally, I do still believe in Jesus and the Father too, as I learned in my study of Magick many years ago. This is my own views of course, and I do respect those Witches that prefer to only follow the Pagan deities, or none at all.
We all have our own path of spirituality, and I think that as Witches in the postmodern age, one of the best traits we ourselves can develop is one of religious tolerance. I have seen that there are many within the Wiccan communities that prefer to cast stones themselves, rather than help and guide. I suppose that within all faiths there will always be the ignorant and self-righteous that insist that only they themselves know the one true way. What I say to them all is, how do you really know? I mean, there is no one religious faith that can say that they are correct. That's why it is faith that the followers have, because there is not one on this Earth that has yet proven the existence of any of it by scientific means. We all live our spiritual path by our own measure of faith, and no one has a right to force their own views upon what we ourselves believe. We are all on our own spiritual quest in life. Let us honor each others pursuit of spiritual growth rather than cast stones at each other.
Now that it is the time of this New 'Oak' Moon, and the Harvests are all in, there is this joyful mirth of home and hearth, even if this is only in the heart as it is true that many have lost much within the rising unemployment, housing crunch, and have to be grateful for what little they do still have. The saying "Home is where you lay your head.", or "Home is where your heart is.", comes to mind. This is a season of sharing, a time to look to blessings no matter where we are in life, if we have our breath, a friend, and a meal, we are being cared for by the Goddess & God of All. If you have more to give, it is the season to share, and help your fellow brethren. I recently read something of a legend that speaks of a Giant Yule Cat that would eat humans that would not help their village prepare for the coming winter. Don't get eaten by the Yule Cat! Lend a hand where you can.
This is a time to focus on joys rather than regrets, hopes instead of fears, success (no matter how small) instead of failures. This is a time to greet the new, to see that with every death there is a birth, that the wheel of nature's changes keeps on turning, and that nothing can remain stagnant for very long so long as we keep the channels open to the source of all giving. The Goddess and God know what you need, and require to be happy, trust in them to provide, and they will supply you with what you need, or at least guide you safely to its location. Opportunity is the gift, and hope is the key to receiving the guidance that will align you upon the path your heart most seeks. May the Goddess Arianhod bless you with wonderful new beginnings as you enter the domain of the Winter.