One of my oft-repeated rants is that the odious expression "people of faith" specifically excludes Wiccans and most Pagans. For my pipple, you either have, or do not have, some direct experience of the goddesses and/or gods. Faith doesn't enter into it. And, so, you know, Fuck You! Rick Warren and everyone else who goes around pretending that "People of Faith" includes anyone other than a bunch of old, dried-up Abrahamists.
But, this morning, I was standing on the hard-frozen ground. On ground frozen so hard that the cold migrated immediately up through the soles of my ballet flats and into the titanium of the screws and plates in my left ankle. And I was looking, ears covered in rabbit fur muffs and cheeks stinging from the cold, at my garden. Which is frozen. And brown. And, barren.
And I was wondering, as I got into my cold car, with the already-cooled mug of coffee in my gloved hands, if, maybe my conviction that there will, surely, be crocus and daffodils and purple hellebore is a form of faith. Have I been too hard on the "people of faith" callers?
But once I thawed out in my hybrid, somewhere halfway over the Potomac River, I decided: Naw. I don't believe that the bulbs will sprout because someone told me to. I believe that they'll sprout because they have done, for year and years. Which is not to say that it doesn't require some IMAGINATION to believe that there will be spring flowers about now, when it's so cold that it hurts my toes. But imagination is different from faith and, given a choice, me, I'll take imagination every time. My skin, my bones, my heretic heart are my authority.
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 . . . ."