One of my chief interests is: How do we live as Witches in an urban, 21st Century, professional world?
How do the tenents of ancient, Earth-based, religion -- e.g., respect for nature and matter, connection with the cycle of the seasons, manifestation of the Goddess(es), worship of the fleshy, female-body part of life, Moon-based community, and, well, and everything in the Charge of the Goddess -- translate to life in the "capital of the free world," modern office buildings, iPhones, calendars kept on computers, Facebook, commuting in rush hour, conference calls, briefing billion dollar cases? How do we live as a Witch at work, keeping up modern homes, gardening in this ecosystem, having the modern families that we have, being in the circles that we're in, communicating mostly "on the grid," being unable to schedule a dinner with two other Witches on less than a month's notice because one of us travels extensively for business, one of us has a big deadline at work, one of us is juggling theatre subscriptions, belly dance class, several blogs, and work?
I could figure out, I like to imagine, how to live each moment as a Witch in a small cottage in a wood, waking with the birds, gardening, praying with the cycles of the Moon, gathering herbs, spinning wool, dancing the Spiral Dance at established community festivals, and doing divination for village girls. I could determine, I think, how to live each moment as Priestess of Mother Earth, on that mist-shrouded Isle of Avalon, surrounded by sister-Witches, outdoor temples, sacred studies. I could have been, I tell myself, a kick-ass Priestess of Athena or the Eleusian Mysteries, had I lived in a time when society, itself, was organized around those religious lynchpins. I even think that I could live well as a Witch in some dystopian future Bene Gesserit convent (a word so like "coven") or some Honored Matres group. But those are not the challenges that Hecate's set for me. Oddly, she wants me to live as a Witch in this distinctly un-Witchy world.
Yet, I am a Witch, and I need to be a Witch. I need to fully engage that spiritual practice in a big city, commuting twice a day in congested traffic, confronting homeless people, needy young lawyers, frustrated paralegals, a super-hero-obsessed G/Son who already knows how to access YouTubes on my iPhone and needs me to help him connect to nature, and a circle of women who are all more busy than is good for the functioning of any circle (I, myself, being chiefly to blame). I need to invest in the stock market as a Witch. I need to decide which mosquito-repellants (if any) to employ as a Witch who (1) needs to be outside and (2) needs to respect Nature. I need to function as a Witch in the death-match that is modern, high-stakes law and as a woman whose spiritual practice demands integrity from her. I need to be a Witch when I take clients out to dinner at the Palm, to be a Witch when I send e-mails, to be a Witch when I write letters to my Senators, to be a Witch when I do dark Moon magic to impact legislation, elections, the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's never been easy: living as a Witch. It's never been, even for those foremothers we envy, clear how, in any given time, one could live the life and be a Witch. And, at least today, it's more often a choice between: living as a Witch and staying employed, as opposed to: living as a Witch and staying, well, alive. I get that. And there's not, on first glance, a lot in the ancient texts to give me guidance. And, yet. And, yet.
What I do is to wake up each morning and re-dedicate myself, wake up each morning and pray. What I do is to take the route to work that takes me past a river, past weeds, past a homeless man with whom I have to interact. What I do is to try, consciously, to interact with young lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, and, yes, even co-counsel as a Witch would interact and not, merely, as another lawyer would interact. I try to pay attention to dreams (oh, look, we'd already cut off that branch w/o realizing it!), tarot, intuition. I try to buy food for me and for my family from local sources and to knit intention into the sweaters that I make for G/Son when I sit on conference calls, to invest with intention, to support with the money I make causes close to my heart. What I do is to garden consciously, after spending hours and hours in meditation with that land. And, what else I do is to sit every day at my altar, currently heaped with sage stems and leaves that I cut away from the living sage that returned from this winter's bad storms and will make into smudge sticks, and to ground, cast a circle, say the Ha Prayer, run the Iron Pentacle, go to my place of power, do magic, and, with gratitude, return.
What do you do?
Are there Witchy uses of email, iPhones, Blackberries, microwaves, lawn care services, investment advisors, YouTube, cars, computers, antidepressants, Facebook, and smart meters in today's world? Picture found (warning) here.
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 . . . ."