A couple of random thoughts, not sure if I can pull them together, or not.
Since I posted about Gavin and Yvonne Frost's notion that you can't be a witch unless you surrender control of your sexuality to some "elder" (complete balderdash), I've been thinking a lot about what it was like when I first heard of Wicca. I wasn't especially young or naive, but I was so terribly thirsty for what Wicca seemed to offer, Goddess knows what I'd have done, back in those pre-internet, pre-Amazon.com days, if someone had come along and offered me a big, heaping dose of it in exchange for something questionable. Like Rumi, I might well have said: "I would love to kiss you!" "The price of kissing is your life." Now my loving is running toward my life shouting, "What a bargain! Let's buy it. "
I wasn't sure, back then what "living as a witch" entailed, exactly, but I was 100% sure that, whatever it was, it was what I wanted.
Thorn recently did a podcast with Karen Tate in which Karen discussed, inter alia, some of the daily "routine" tasks that she completes that she considers the work of a priestess: priestessing. And I was thinking about that, today, as well, as I rushed home from work to prepare my home for this week's Full Moon Ritual.
My circle meets in the homes of our members and this month is my turn to hostess. And there are few things in Wicca about which I am AD.AM.ANT, but one of them is the need for ritual to take place in a clean, lovely, calm environment that invites busy women in, reminds them that they are manifestations of the Goddess, gives them space in which to relax, provides them with a genuine opportunity to transition between "mundane" (I hate that word) and sacred space. So, for me, part of the work of a priestess is cleaning up, smudging, setting the table, laying the altar, making my home ready for magic, ready for the Full Moon.
I'm not sure that's what I had in mind when I first read about Wicca, first felt that desperate thirst for the chance to live the life of a witch. But that's what it's turned out to mean, for me. I don't have to sleep with someone ordained by an elder. I scarcely keep a book of shadows. I don't often grind special herbs to make a ceremonial incense. I don't wear a pentacle and my eye make-up is pretty damn conventional. But I will move heaven and Earth to provide a group of busy, Washington, DC career women -- witches all --with a space where they can lay down government, consulting, education, news, family, law, and life and step into a clean, calm, quiet, sacred space in which to do magic. I will do that. Because the Goddess says:
Whenever you have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.
You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.
Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.
May your March Full Moon be a blessed one and may you find the work that makes a Priestess of you.
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 . . . ."