Today I'm throwing out the rules. I will no longer follow the Official Guide to Being a Witch. Oh, dear Goddess, here comes the high priestess to tell me I'm not a real witch, but just a fluffy bunny.
Why did I just spend 3 hours standing in a circle (inside a New Age shop) with a bunch of people I don't really like celebrating the first harvest while my garden wilts under the Florida sun? Isn't the Wheel of the Year about connecting with natural cycles?
I did it because that's what real witches do. We dress in black. We collect expensive tools. We buy stuff. We build elaborate altars. We join hands (even with people we don't trust). We say just the right thing. To just the right deity. We celebrate the right thing at the right time. We aspire to become the High Priestess almighty standing in the middle of the circle collecting energy. We follow the rules.
Wait just a minute. That was such bullshit! I've never followed the rules for very long.
My witchcraft was much more connected & powerful when I didn't know all these rules. I practiced solitary ritual weekly. I connected with deity daily. I used my body as my tools. I dug in the earth. I opened my heart. I made things happen in accordance with my will. I taught others. I inspired others. I was a witchy role model.
So what happened? How did I become a lemming? Should I never have tried to learn all the rules?
There really is great value in learning about the ins & outs of ceremonial witchcraft. Witches need to know the rules. The rules help us have a point of community & a basis for conversation. Rules are like scaffolding. The scaffolding is necessary until the structure is solid.
Rules are training wheels. They help us keep balance when we don't quite have the strength & coordination to keep ourselves from falling.
But at some point the scaffolding becomes redundant. The training wheels need to come off. We have to ride the bike & risk falling.
We begin to make decisions about risk & reward, finding our own boundaries. Which rules are right for us? Which rules are oppressive?
For some, fundamentalism is a comfort. The rules of ritual bring them safety & therefore allow larger exploration.
Others need to color outside the lines. We need to be free. We learn best from our own experience. We are the ones on the edge. With strict rules & boundaries we wither.
I loved connecting with the Wheel of the Year as a new witch. I felt excited to be celebrating holidays so often. The Wheel introduced me to cycles of nature. It brought ceremony & celebration to a life muted by technology & disconnection. The Wheel was my trainer.
But my broom will not fly with training wheels. They are too heavy.
So I'm creating my own customs. My own celebrations. I'm going back to my beginning.
Nature made me a witch. It is Nature I follow.
I don't care if I'm a real witch. Standing in my garden I'm witch enough.
Wild & Bright Blessings,
Oh, & P.S. Follow your bliss!!!