Feedback From “Fair Weather Wicca”

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!I am an initatied HPS of a teaching Coven and so many times people come
to us and only want to experience the Goddess as all nurturing and all
beautiful and the God minus a penis and any sexual drive. Most have a
very difficult time understanding that death and decay are as necessary
as life and growth. Many simply cannot handle the concept that
destruction is often necessary in order for new patterns of creation to emerge
or that “cycles of balance” in nature include death, destruction and
what seems to be chaos.

While many in my Coven can longer handle a camp out in the more extreme
seasons of New England, all did so when they were younger and in better
health and still camp out when they can. I will continue to do so until
I am no longer able to.

All the Best!
Godiva

Godvia,
Thank you for your interest in my article.
It seems that it is more common for people to only want to engage what is pleasant and happy in life, at the expence of the lessons that the gods have wrapped in harsher packages. It occured to me that this is something many neo-pagans understand, but that few actually state explicitly. I am glad to know that at least one Coven soemwhere in New England teaches its students the importance of accepting all life has to offer, not just the pleasant and easy to handle.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Infinitum

I liked your essay. It was very convincing. I think that people do tend
to take our protection from natural forces for granted and we often
completely forget about the other sides of nature.
The last line made me think. I never completely comprehended before
that the Gods are actually like REAL parents. they kinda suck sometimes.
Good Job.

Blessed Be,
Burning Crow.

Dear Burning Crow,
Thank you for your interest in my article.
I’m sure a fellow Kansan can appreciate my bewilderment at a gathering of pagans coming to honor nature, and then getting scared because nature turned out to be unpredictable and unpleasant.
I think that your realization about the gods as parents is particularly interesting. Sometimes they do things that we think are unfair and cruel, which end up being for out own good. Of course, sometimes they do those things because they have their problems and shortcomings, too. You seem to have some experience with writing — perhaps you could develop your idea into something more.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Infinitum

Your most recent article about the true nature of…er…nature, and
Neo-Pagans being unable to accept nature on Her own terms was incredibly
satisfying for a number of reasons:

1. CHANTING IN THE RAIN

I HPS’ed a labrynithe ceremony in a rainstorm that included a 50 mph
wind. It was the best ceremony I have ever done. There was no thunder or
lightning (that’s where I draw the line for safety’s sake–I don’t need
myself or friends turned into crispy critters) . The wind was
exhilarating, and the rain soaked me to the skin, making my whole body tingle
and left me feeling brand new. Joining with Nature on Her own terms was
incredible. When I called upon the Elements and the Gods, they were
THERE. I believe that this event allowed me to accept myself as a competent
HPS; I had spent the weeks before the ceremony doubting myself, as well
as my abilities. I think I was (pardon the term) bitch-slapped by Gaia
and Crew into realizing that I had been “initiated” by the “one true
Initiator”

2. QUIT WHINING!

I was on retreat, and we were going to have our first outdoor ceremony
which focused on our personal descent and rebirth. It was cold and
raining. Some of the women started to whine about the damp and cold. I had
been hit by a car two years prior, (1993) and was still recovering. I
am permanently disabled–I was still using a cane for balance (dizzy
spells, uneven terrain) and stability for when my once broken knee would
decide to give out with no warning.

However, I had checked the weather forecast for that area, and knew
that we’d be in for damp, cold, rainy weather, which makes many of my
chronic conditions from the accident–fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and
tightening of scar tissue–flare up badly. But I had come to do these
rituals and I would be damned if these conditions would stop me. I put on
my combat boots over my favorite pair of polarfleece socks, dressed in
the gear I had brought for the cold and the rain, put on my cloak, and
said to the HPS, “I don’t know about them, but I’m ready.”

Suddenly everyone was ready to go, and we did our first outdoor
ceremony (a labrynthe again…hmmm…) in the rain and the cold. Lo and
behold–the day after, when we reached the site for our full moon
celebration, we watched in wonder as the clouds parted, and we were able to do the
ritual under a clear sky. The moon was so bright–it was one of those
ceremonies that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

3. I HATE EARTH DAY!

You know what, folks? We’re not “saving” the earth. She doesn’t need
saving from the likes of us. We’re saving OURSELVES. We’re realizing that
we can’t live in a “throw-away” society forever, and that we’re going
to have to find different ways to do things. Recycle, put solar panels
on your roof, use a woodstove or modify your fireplace to heat the main
parts of your house, put on a sweater, take off a jacket, plant a
garden, collect rainwater to use on your plants, buy from local farms and
orchards, but in the name of the Seven Sacred Gods, please leave me alone
about Earth Day and “what I think of it.” Same thing with Arbor Day. I
already garden, compost, etc. I use ladybugs instead of bug spray.
Leave me alone.

Sorry this was so long, but I kind of got going and couldn’t stop.

Thanks again,

Tsivia Ravina

Dear Tsivia Ravina,
Thanks you for your interest in my article.
All of my best rituals have been performed during thunderstorms, and I’m quite convinced that the reason I was born in the midwest is because my magic works better during storms. If you’re willing to conduct a ritual in conditions like that, you can be my High Priestess any day! It never made sense to me that people would seek to control the power of nature for their own magical ends, yet not revel in such a raw display of natural power while it’s there.
As for people whining, I don’t think that is a pagan problem, but a problem that Americans as a whole are developing. Our standard of living is so high that too many of us cannot bear to endure the least bit or hardship, not even for our gods. Too many have forgotten what sacrifice really means.
Earth Day amuses me, at least from a pagan perspective. It is an incredibly Christian mindset to say that we need to care for the Earth and protect her from the “environmenral sinners” who seek to corrput her. You are right when you say that we are protecting ourselves. Just remember what George Carlin said, that this planet can shake us like a bad cold any time she wants to.
Again, thanks for your input, and take heart — there seem to be plenty of people out there who recognize the importance of embracing nature in both her gentle and harsh aspects.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Infinitum

I just wanted to send you an email to let you know that I fully agree
with you about the aspects of nature which caused the others of your
group to cancel their ritual. Neo-paganism, Wicca or whatever you want to
call it is a nature based belief system, thus your group should accept
nature on it’s terms. It’s very refreshing to read an article by
someone who seems quite traditional in beliefs.

Blessed Be!

Alderon

Dear Alderon,
Thank you for your interest in my article.
It really struck me as ironic that a group of nature-worshippers would call a ritual for (non-life threatening) inclement weather. I didn’t see how a person could humble himself before a god, but not the natural _expression of that god. And maybe I was just a little bit mad that I had already bought supplies, but at least I ate good that weekend.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Infinitum

I think that many people turn to religion to ‘escape’ from the harsh
realities of our current society and civilization. They want nature to be
wondrous and happy and perfect, becasue their lives are not. I always
flash on the scene from Dracula where Wynona Rider says “Take me away
from all this death”. They want to escape reality, and get angry when
someone tries to pop their bubble. I don’t think this is limited to pagan
religions, but I do think that many pagan religions can be made to be
more amenable to this fantasy.

Of course, must fluffy sorts find me to be too much of a bitch for
their tastes… smile

Eadie

Dear Eadie,
Thank you for your interest in my article.
Escapism is indeed rampant in America as a whole, and the mysterious glamor asssociated with the occult makes pagan religions more appealing to those seeking a reprieve from reality. I have encountered many a lost soul who claimed to be a powerful magician, but turned out to be someone attempting to make up for poor social skills by developing a mysterious persona. The pop culture perception of paganism drawns in people such as this.
Fortunately, it is easy to determine who is in it for the glamor and who is in it for the spiritual growth. My problem was a little more sublte, as I was dealing with people who were interested in the spiritual growth, but just wanted it fast and easy, without discomfort or effort.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Infinitum

Enlightenment on a silver platter, as it were? Since I live in the
Pacific Northwest, and like backpacking, I give no slack to those who are
put off by a bit of inclement weather. 😉

Eadie

I enjoyed your rant, er, article. I do understand the frustration at
people who believe that their choice in both faith and committment is
conditional to their level of comfort. I would hope that there were more
distinctive lines between religions, but alas, not everyone agrees with
that.

I just wanted to add something to that train of thought, food for
thought if you will, for you.

The word Sacrifice.

Dictionary.com defines it as such:
———————————————
sacrifice n.

The act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage,
especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person.

A victim offered in this way.

Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to
have a greater value or claim.

Something so forfeited.

Relinquishment of something at less than its presumed value.

Something so relinquished.

A loss so sustained.
———————————————

People have a tendency to harp on the more negative aspects of
sacrifice, the idea of slaughtered animals or people, when it comes to pagan
paths. Although these things are barbaric in modern society, many people
forget the underlying meaning of the word ‘sacrifice’.

The general thought of it before written history was that you were
giving up something that was vital to your exsistance, be it food or
lifeblood, in honor of your ancestors or gods. An offering of the highest
quality, being that it was something that was life-sustaining.

The idea here is not to nobilize the idea of killing a creature, but to
reiterate the fact that sacrificing meant giving from the deepest level
of the self, being it the roots of self-preservation or the epitome of
self-sacrifice.

I must say, that looking at it in that light, I am no judge of persons,
but each person involved should perhaps ask themselves: of all that
used to be sacrificed in the old paths, from the harvest to bone and
blood, how much am I sacrificing for my faith? How much am I giving to my
gods and ancestors? Am I truly giving of myself in the fullest potential
to my beliefs, to the things that I claim to be a part of me heart and
soul?

Some may find a bit of disquiet in their answers.

However, I wish you the best of luck, and again, your article was very
pointed and meaningful.

Knottybynature,
Thank you for your interest in my article.
I don’t believe that I actually used the word sacrifice in my article, but the idea was something that I had in mind while writing it. As you indicated, the ancients honored the gods by offering things of value. In a society that values time and comfort as much as our own, sacrificing either of these would be a very potent act.

Best Wishes,
Chirotus Inifnitum

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One response to “Feedback From “Fair Weather Wicca”

  1. Pingback: Cliché | Blacklight Metaphysics

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