Sensuality by Franz Von Stuck
Well yes indeed, what a night that was. You have to watch these Hills folk you know - very strange bunch indeed. All nudie celebrations and sword swinging by the light of a full moon.
I will attempt to explain the nefarious dealings that led to me tottering up a very dark, wet road in spike heeled boots at around 8pm on a Friday night, clutching a tupperware box (Shriek! Noooo!) full of filo pastry morsels. Y'see the thing is, I'm a...well, a.... sort of.... oh, you know... broomsticks, candles, incense, open fires, full moons... that sort of thing. Or at least that is what I was.
I have met a couple of fine women up here since I moved into my hilltop retreat and have, over the course of several slices of cake and many cups of coffee, gotten to know them well enough to have them invite me to a party to celebrate the Autumn Equinox (most excellent) and then this - a full moon ritual in a dedicated temple space with other folk of the same inclinations. So, being the sort of gal that likes to experience most things at least once before running screaming in the other direction, I invited my two friends and, dressed for the occasion, off we trotted.
Not owning any robes and not being willing to expose flesh to strangers, we had opted for to wear clothing and had made the effort to find something that we didn't wear in our general life to preserve the sense of the otherwordly. My dress was long, black, a bit low cut (first outing for the girls since Beanie) and a tiny bit disco (it had silver sequins on for gawds sake!) - it did however remind me slightly of the grecian style of priestess garb and so I felt like I looked the part of genuine seeker of mysteries gifts. We also had to learn a dedication to the Old Gods of our choice. Being unable to remember my own name most of the time, I chose to wing it by the seat of my almost combusting pants and make something up on the spot.
So, in true ritualistic fashion we were ushered into the space, given the five fold kiss (lovely) and welcomed as Goddess into the candlit space. The ritual itself (called Awaken the Fire Within) was beautifully dramatic and powerful to watch and be a part of. Especially the Priestess invoking Hecate before a flaming cauldron - very MacBeth.
Cauldron of Dreams
It went for quite a while and I was literally dripping with sweat and quite tempted to disrobe just to cool down. It was a really amazing experience to be a part of and I'm very glad that I went but it only highlighted to me that I am not, any longer, sure of exactly where my spiritual path is taking me.
I have been on this particular path for such a long, long time that there is a reasonable level of fear about leaving the familiarity of it behind in order to break new ground, especially as I have no idea of where I'm going or what sort of ground it will be. I have slowly come to the realisation that my spiritual nature is demanding something else of me. I want some kind of direct experience of Divinity, of 'the Beloved'. Indeed it is because of this quiet but very incessant nudging, I have been meditating morning and night for nearly 4 weeks now. I am almost at the end of my self imposed 30 day trial of the Japa meditation and it has been nice though largely unremarkable, at least so far. However the ritual, though marvellous and, for me at least, part of a long held dream to be a part of a live working coven, did not touch me as deeply as I had wished. I didn't have a really deep connection to what was happening around me and, though my dedication was real enough, I felt always like I was only partly in my body and therefore in the ritual. My dedication was on the spur of the moment but was to 'the Beloved' - the Divine that sometimes manifests itself as Goddess or God but is not limited to that form. The Universal Divinity that guards and guides all life and its higher purpose - it is to that that I made my dedication, because I no longer know if I am to walk in the realm of the Goddess or if it is time to move away and apart and into the unknown once again.
Hekate by William Blake
My biggest bugbear with paganism and witchcraft in general has always been the insufferable egos that are attracted to this type of work. In my experience it is always the twin pillars of power and sex that really knock people off their spiritual journey and never more so than in this type of work. There was one person there whose energy I found absolutely abhorrent. The kind of energy that makes your skin crawl because it is so clammy and so darkly sexually charged in a really unhealthy, obsessive way. This guy is one of those guys that believes its his right and privilege as a pagan to screw anything that moves and its all about ego. I had the exact same reaction to him the first time I met him (with his pregnant girlfriend)and, oddly enough, so did the three other women who were with me at the event. He wanders about like a giant erection looking for a space to invade and I just didn't want to be around him. I have no problem with people doing whatever they want to with other consenting adults, as long as I don't have to watch or have my energy body probed by it. So, this was an annoying and slightly offputting part of the nights events, I guess this is all part of lifes rich tapestry. But as I was saying, this is the kind of thing that has always had me avoiding things like Pagans in the Pub and group gatherings and festivals. (I also don't like being wet and cold - been there and done that thanks).
So, I find myself thinking about my path, investigating the experiences I have had and trying to decide where to go next. I do not rule out attending another ritual just to see if there is more of a sense of connection for me and because I am endlessly curious about everything that spirit puts in my path. I just feel that there is something missing for me. Some connection to power, to Spirit that is just not here yet and it is this indefinable something that I am truly seeking. I long to feel that connection to the Beloved of which Rumi speaks in his achingly beautiful poetry. I guess I'll just have to keep on trucking and not be afraid to let go of my goddessy water wings if the changing tides demand it of me. i will always be drawn to witchypooness and my witchypoo friends - these things run too deep in me and I hope that whatever path my spirit leads me on will not separate me from these wonderful women in my life. I will always have a love of 'Darksome Nights and Shining Moons' and I will always try to live in harmony with the changing seasons but something needs to change and I am open to the new way unfolding before me. It will take courage but I will follow the signs just as I did to get to here.
As Carl Jung (roughly) says 'what is true for a man in the morning of his life by evening will have become a lie.' I guess I'm just sorting my truths out.