Happy Friday, everyone! This week I have actually used a spread to forecast our week ahead. It’s not a huge one, but It felt right, so we’re gonna take a little look see and discover what we’ve got in store for us.
Divination Method: The Sacred Circle Tarot
Card(s) Drawn: 3 of Wands, Ace of Discs, Queen of Wands
Key Word(s): Foundation (3 of Wands), Abundance (Ace of Discs), Illumination (Queen of Wands)
My Interpretation: First let me explain the simple set up of this spread. Card 1 represents the Situation, Card 2 represents a Challenge, and Card 3 represents Advice to heed or Action to take regarding the 1st two cards. Now, let’s get to it!
The Situation is found in the 3 of Wands. Things are basically good. The Fires of creation have been kind, and things have panned out as of late. Because of this, there is a sound foundation to build upon for the future. Be sure to note, however, that even the strongest foundations require maintenance – so the hard work is not over. Be aware of things and and don’t be surprised if you’ve got to change things up a bit. The foundations that are best able to survive a shake-up are those that have the ability to be a bit flexible.
The Challenge is the Ace of Discs. It may sound odd that the Abundance card is seen as a challenge, but “Too much of a good thing” really is a thing. 😉 This card suggests that the energy for the coming week, much like Earth is ripe for nurturing creation and bearing the fruit of it. Whether that be the creation of financial opportunities, manifestations of artistic urges, the start of a passionate relationship, etc…. All of these things are awesome things. They are so awesome, in fact, that it can be easy to let ourselves get carried away in their super strong currents and lose sight of what is truly important. We must remain grounded in that foundation and not allow ourselves to be swept away and distracted by all “the shinies”.
Advice is found in the form of the Queen of Wands. To me, she embodies the qualities of the Goddess Brighid. She is Queen of the Hearth…Igniter of Passions…Source of Creativity…Protector of Loved Ones. She appears in this spread to remind us that while all of those things mentioned in the Challenge above are important (which is evident due to the fact that she represents them), it is also important to keep the Fires of the Spirit burning. She is here to lead by example. She shows us that it is possible to “have it all” if we maintain a balance by remaining anchored in our Spirit & Faith. Be true to yourself…and if things get out of hand, take a time out, go within and: Be Good to Yourself. (Yes…it’s time to cue Journey.)
Eclecticism can meet with a certain level of scorn, judgment and/or dismissal by some in the Pagan Community. Some think that we’re just plain indecisive. Raymond Buckland even omits Eclectics from the conversation altogether in both his “Complete Book of Witchcraft” and “The Witch Book” –which is meant to be an encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca & Neo-Paganism.
The idea that this path is somehow “less valid” than the paths of those who follow more
“established” traditions– Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Dianic, Celtic, Romani, Strega, and British Traditional Witchcraft, just to name a few– doesn’t make sense to me. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “of course it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re one of those Eclectic Types”. Yes I am, but the reason it doesn’t make sense is held in the concept of “All Paths Lead to the Divine” that most pagans also tend to believe. It seems like some believe that one’s path must be an established path…but think about it…While Witchcraft, in one form or another, has been around for centuries, Wicca itself (in it’s capacity as a somewhat organized ‘non-organized religion’) is a fairly new path. So, viewing a path of Eclectic Witchcraft as somehow invalid in comparison seems rather short-sighted to me…but I guess that’s for others to discover in their own time.
ec·lec·tic [ih-klek-tik] adjective: 1. selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.” dictionary.com
The spiritual world of the Eclectic Witch, or at least this Eclectic Witch, is not as easy as many may think. With the exception of my Core Beliefs, it has taken much time and study to form my personal practice (which is still under construction, even after almost 11 yrs of study). I also tend to disagree a bit with the definition of “eclectic” in that I didn’t select the components that make up the foundation of my practice. What I mean is, I didn’t set out at the beginning of my journey thinking I would end up with a little of this and a little of that…nor did I seek out the elements that my practice is comprised of. These elements presented themselves to me…but, I guess they were selected by someone, so I’ll not quibble about it.
My Core Beliefs are notions that have been with me for the majority of my life…they’ve just acquired shiny new labels along the way.
My Core Beliefs:
)O( Everything Happens for a Reason – Good/Evil, Sickness/Health, Happy Events/Sad Events…Everything we witness and experience has a lesson held somewhere within. The goal is to learn as much as possible, as this not only helps to understand and accept the events of One’s own Journey but also makes it possible to help others who may need assistance in understanding their own Journey.
)O( Everything is Connected – All living things and most matter are comprised of the same chemical elements. Beyond this, all things are made up of molecules, atoms, particles, etc…all of which are made of: Energy. Energy is exchanged between all things (albeit at different rates of exchange). I have sensed this connection between people, animals, and the whole of Nature since I was a child. As Carl Sagan once said: We are all made of star-stuff.
Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.” ~Carl Sagan
)O( Do No Harm, But Take No Shit. – I follow The Rede to the best of my humanly ability. I am not one who interprets it as a license for others to use me as a doormat, however. I try my best not to impose harm on any living creature (Mosquitoes and roaches are exempt from this though…I just can’t abide them *shudders*, so I’m willing to risk any Universal repercussions), but as The Rede is meant to not impose harm upon anyone including myself, I have no problem defending myself or my loved ones…whether that includes physical or magickal means (These are not to be used casually).
)O( Justice is Blind, Karma Sees Everything, and Boy do They Talk! – Meaning, that if you are going to do something, be mindful that there may be consequences and you should be prepared for them. If you ask for true Justice in any given situation, be prepared to pay for whatever part you may have played in the event, even if your part was unintended.
My Primary Deities:
)O( Hecate – Greek/Thracian Goddess of the Crossroads, Transformation, Childbirth, Witchcraft, Justice
)O( Anubis – Egyptian God of the Dead/Underworld, Embalming, Keeper of Poisons & Medicines, Protector of the Scales. Patron of Lost Souls & Orphans.
)O( Brighid – Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts
)O( Pan – Greek God of Nature, Shepherds, Flocks, Goats, Mountain Regions, Sexuality and Fertility
)O( Danu – Celtic Goddess of Fertility, Knowledge, Wisdom, Abundance, Mother of the Faeries, Protector of the Land and Waters
)O( Ganesha – Hindu God of Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Wealth, Lord of Obstacles and Lord of Success
Now, this group of Gods & Goddesses may seem like quite an odd mash-up to most. In fact it was even odd for me for a while. Each of these deities revealed themselves to me in their own time…I never went looking for them, as I never expected to have any other ‘regular’ Gods & Goddesses beyond Hecate & Anubis, but they seem to have other ideas.
Yesterday it occurred to me why this group is indeed perfect for me (something THEY were all undoubtedly aware of). As Pagans and Witches we are very often talking about the belief that we all contain the Divine within. Well, when looking at my seemingly indiscriminate Pantheon, I discovered that each one of the deities it contains speak to the very traits, skills, drives, and desires that make me who I am. This group truly represents the core of my being…I have to say, that was one hell of a revelation!
New discoveries and ideas regarding my practice are coming to me every day it seems…and what I’ve shared with you is really just a glimpse at some of the bones of its structure. The idea was to convey the message that Eclecticism is not a willy-nilly flight of fancy, but a legitimate spiritual path that is not always chosen, but is sometimes thrust upon those who embark upon it. Not to say that there aren’t a good many flakes out there using the Eclectic brand…but, aren’t there a few in every religion? lol However, even the ‘flakes’ are on a path…who the hell am I to say they’re wrong?
But I digress…
It can sometimes be quite difficult to find the connections between the components of one’s spiritual system. This is true regardless of what path you follow. There are always revelations and epiphanies to be had…always a new level of understanding and connectedness to be achieved. Witchcraft, whatever the tradition, is a path of Mystery. It can often seem dark, unknowable, even daunting…but the discoveries we make along the way illuminate the next portion of our Path, whatever label we may give it.
Honored by many pagans at Imbolc; Brighid is the Irish Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts.
Brighid has been revered throughout Ireland since the time of the Tuatha de Danann and was such an integral part of the people’s lives that she was incorporated into Christianity as St. Brigid of Kildare in the 7th century CE.
According to Cormac’s Glossary, a 10th century compilation from oral tradition, she is said to be ‘a Goddess whom poets worshiped’ and patron of healing and smithcraft. She was venerated not only as Brighid, but also as Bride, Briginda, Brigidu, and in North Britain as Briganda, which can be translated as ‘High One or Exalted One’. Other titles include; ‘Ash-less Flame’, ‘Flame of Two Eternities’, and ‘Mother of All Wisdom’.
She was worshiped as St. Brigid in an Irish convent at Kildare, which means the church of the Oak-tree. This was the site of an ancient temple in which a perpetual, ash-less fire burned (this suggests it was a sort of lamp, perhaps fed by oil, tallow or butter). In later Christian times, when the nuns kept the fire burning using wood, the ashes were said to miraculously vanish. In 1220 A.D., the Archbishop of Dublin decided that the fire-cult was ‘pagan’ and ordered the flame to be extinguished. After his death the nuns rekindled the flame until the Reformation when the entire convent was suppressed.
Next Week: I’ll be giving some Correspondences and other such stuffs. 🙂