Samhein is the beginning of the new year for me and I make resolutions, just as many other Americans do on January 1st. One of my resolutions this year was to work through a structured plan for spiritual growth, rather than to just commit, as I did last year, to simply spend time at my altar. In order to achieve that goal, I'm working through the final 8 chapters of Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle. That means that I'm beginning with Air. Thorn associates the wand with air and, good though her reasons are for doing so, I'm not going to undo 17 years of living as a witch; for me, the sword (or athame) is the tool of air, followed by the finger. I simply transpose what she says about tools. I'm old and I've built up a long magical practice in which Air=East=Athame.
Thorn says: A serious practitioner can develop emotional connections w/ her Gods [sic], intellectual rigor and honesty, and physical and psychic discipline, with no one thing cancelling out another. She quotes Doreen Valiente, who said, By developing their powers, the magician and the witch develop themselves. They aid their own evolution, their growth as a human being, and in so far as they truly do this, they aid the evolution of the human race. It reminds me of what I loved about the Bene Gesserits, who searched, and searched, and searched, confused as their search became.
It's a good reason to begin with Air, in the East, athame in hand.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."