This morning I was reading one of my books on Wicca. It indicated that the elements are associated with different symbols and directions. It also indicated that the elements are associated with the masculine or the feminine. That gave me pause for thought.
Why is each element assigned to the masculine OR the feminine? Why isn’t each element of both, or of neither? When I look at the descriptions: Earth is the element of stability, foundations and the body and is the realm of wisdom, knowledge, strength, growth and prosperity; Water is the element of emotion and subconscious, of purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family as well as psychic ability; Fire contains aspects of change, passion, creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality; Air governs the magic of the four winds and is the vital spirit passing through all things, giving life to all things, moving and filling all things.
Now, reading that, do you decide that Earth, Water, Air and Fire are either feminine or masculine? Why the stereotyping? Why the dichotomy? As we have each of these within ourselves, they each rely on the other. There is no demarcation line between one and the other.
So I propose that rather than try to force the elements into our own contrived labels, we accept that everything is one and release our own labels. I can celebrate and honor the elements without labels. I can acknowledge and cherish their many aspects, I can invite them into my ceremony with symbols, and I know that these symbols are only representational. In this way I accept both the elements and every being for the way they exist in the moment.
Meditation is a suggested part of Paganism, yoga and a number of other spiritual practices. In fact, if you read enough you will see that one of the purposes of the asanas [yoga movements] is to prepare your body for meditation. It does this by creating space in your body, but also by helping to create a focus on the present…a mindfulness.
Meditation has been a difficult practice for me. The meditation itself is not a challenge, but justifying the time spent ‘doing nothing’ has been. I mean really, if you spend 15 minutes meditating a day, you will see the benefits, but how can I justify wasting 15 minutes like that?
The irony is that I generally have that argument with myself while watching TV. Now I personally am not a big TV person. So why do I watch? My children [young ladies really] do watch TV. There are many reasons; to fit in, to have a basis for connection with friends, as inspiration. They don’t generally watch train wreck TV, but the fact is that it’s on more than I would like. So the problem for me comes in because if I do not watch their shows, then I do not have that understanding, that basis for communication, that a shared experience brings.
I need to make the time and space for myself as well. I need to accept my need to meditate and do yoga daily. I need to treat myself with as much respect and interest as I do my daughters. They are my daughters and I love them deeply, however, I need to love myself just as deeply. This is a difficult lesson and I have had to learn and re-learn it hundreds of times already in my lifetime.
I have been on a quest to explore my own spirituality. I have my own beliefs but being surrounded by a sea of organized religions that don’t agree with my beliefs had led me to conclude that I stood alone. For years I stopped looking.
I have always been different from others…but at the same time I have been afraid of that label because it can be so frightening to be a part of a fringe group, or even to simply feel alone in the world. A number of my friends have been Wiccan so I decided to start my search there.
In a number of ways I agree with the precepts of Wicca. I do believe that everything is interconnected. I do believe that we need to care for the Earth and all her inhabitants. I do believe that we can help direct the energy that exists all around us. When I discovered that solitary practitioners are a valid option, I knew I was so close to home with this label.
I do not believe in multiple gods and goddesses. I believe in a Universal consciousness. I do not believe in reincarnation when defined as I have had past lives, rather I believe in recycled consciousness. I think our personal energy is released to rejoin the Universe and that pieces of who we are will then be used in the formation of something new. These are not strictly Wiccan beliefs. I will say that Wicca seems to be one of the most open, welcoming and accepting groups I have ever read about, and so I do feel that I would be welcome to call myself Wiccan. Wicca also has many traditions and while my personal beliefs may not fit a current label, there is room for me to create my own brand.
Believing in precise labels though, I do not know that I can call myself Wiccan if for no other reason than I do not fit the original beliefs of the Wiccan school(s) of thought.
It is stated that all Wiccans are Pagan but not all Pagans are Wiccan. The term Pagan is basically a catch all for non-Abrahamic religions. It encompasses, therefore, a great number of organized, and unorganized religions. I am definitely Pagan, but that label seems too broad.
And so the research continues…