I practice Paganism and magic. . . . I’m fine with being a 21st century person practicing a religion with ancient ancestry and contemporary innovation. As a person who lives on this land and in this time, among these cities and farms and wild places, how can I really do anything else?
For right now, I will call myself Pagan: one who connects with the non-Dual and the many Gods, with this sweet earth and with the stars far beyond my eye’s ability to reach.
I think that's about right.
My wonderful circle of amazing women practices a very eclectic brand of Dianic witchcraft. We're big believers in doing what works, what's worked before, what logically seems as if it will work in this situation, for this objective, at this time. I wouldn't keep doing something that didn't work just because it was an ancient practice and I don't hesitate to adopt brand-spanking-new modern practices (including the use of iPhones and computers and modern plumbing) that are effective. Sometimes, when I'm doing magic or engaged in my daily practice, I get a strong sense of being part of an unbroken line of women who have priestessed Mother Earth. Sometimes, I can tell that I'm starting something that my great, great, many-times-great granddaughters and great nieces will continue. And sometimes, I'm just a 53-year-old woman doing the best that she can in the early 21st Century.
And, I practice my magic, these days, almost entirely in the DC metro area. What I do, what works for me, the seasons as I know and celebrate them are, of course, different than they were for ancient European witches and Pagans. I'm in relationship with this unique river that, in so many ways, is different from every other river in the world. I have access to places of -- literal -- worldly, political power that rival almost anything my uneducated, impoverished, rural ancestors could have imagined. I can bless and bind politicians, justices, lobbyists, newsmedia figures. I can do it at lunch, in a bar after work, outside their homes and offices, in the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Old Executive Office Building . . . where they least expect it. I ground by sinking my roots into red Virginia clay, not Mediterranean sand and, when I cast a circle, I cast it around white oaks and crape myrtles and a red fox and squirrels both grey and black.
Does my religion have ancient roots? Yes. Is it modern? Yes. Does it borrow from other religions and time periods and practices? You bet. And, as Ms. Coyle says, I'm fine with that.
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 . . . ."