This post goes all over the place. My brain had musings to get out.
I was reading a book and stumbled across this quote.
“Wiccans tend to see all goddesses as different aspects of the same goddess, and deal in archetypical symbology.”*
I read it over a few times and thought about the Wiccans I knew. Off the top of my head I could only think of maybe one or two who fit this idea. I could easily think of at least 30 or so who were polytheist Wiccans. I took the question to Facebook and a small discussion occurred. It matched what I had already thought amongst my community.
I started thinking about it more. I know many basic 101 books deal with Aspects of the Goddess, and there are a lot of people who believe in the Triple Moon Goddess. But just because they work with an aspect in one area doesn’t mean that is all they believe.
For example, I honour the Triple Moon Goddess, but I don’t try to shove any other goddesses into that mold. The moon is her own Goddess. I also work with other Goddesses on their own. Each one is an individual to me. I work with Bast. She is who she is. I don’t try to make her into some aspect. I honour her as a Sun Goddess with all her own traits. She is always changing, sometimes she is golden like the sun, sometimes she is the colour of sand, sometimes she is a cat, sometimes she is a dancing lady. But she is never a pale moon goddess. That is not who she is. The moon is her own lady. Glowing brightly in the night sky.
I can worship the aspects of the moon, and yet still be a polytheist. I can worship the aspects of the Triple Mother and yet still work with Bast and Freyja, and any other Goddess as individuals.
I don’t spend a lot of time talking to Wiccans online. Most of the blogs I follow are Kemetic or Witchcraft (not Wiccan) blogs. The Wiccan community I had back home was full of people who were my age or older, had been Wiccan for at least 15 years or more, and had done a lot of research into our roots. I saw them for Sabbats and moons and camped with them. I had such a thriving community at my fingertips I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on online or in other communities. I think this has made me be out of touch with what the general world thinks of Wiccans.
When I think back to my baby Wicca days it was all before I had the internet. It was when finding books on Wicca was difficult. We had to really dig for the information we wanted. I sometimes wonder now if having all this information at our fingertips is a blessing or a curse.
I’m a firm believer in making our own paths, in following our heart and if that means you don’t follow the general idea of what Wicca is then I will support you. However, I do believe in research. In talking out ideas and being respectful. I don’t believe we should blindly follow one book or one author. We need to dig into our roots and learn what we can. Take a hard look at the truth.
We also need to get dirty. We need to work hard and practice our craft. We need to try new ways of doing ritual to find what works best for us. We need to be creative and then also be traditional, so we can figure out what feels best. I’m not saying go out and steal a bunch of ideas from another faith. I’m saying follow your gut. If you worship a Sun Goddess then worship her as that. Just because most Wiccan ritual says “moon goddess” doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. If you have an idea to try calling the elements in a different way then give it a go and see how it feels.
I enjoy my traditions way of setting up circle. It is familiar to me, it works for me and it is something I can do off the top of my head. Sometimes though, I am more inspired when I go see another group do a ritual. Being in unfamiliar territory opens me up to new experiences. I then have to question what worked for me with another group and why.
Our annual camp was very Wiccan-centered, because the people who volunteered were all Wiccans. It took time but slowly we met new people who weren’t Wiccan and they began to step forward as well. Suddenly we had all sorts of rituals and workshops and it was so interesting. It forced us out of the comfort zone. It made us learn new things. And I think it led to some of the most amazing magickal experiences I had ever had.
Yes, some people grumbled about new things and “these young kids” but overall the community loved it. We suddenly had new people to discuss ideas with. We had new experiences to share with each other and it led to some new groups forming as different traditions came together to try to meld their paths. Covens began to work together and share things with each other. Different paths began to share their info and learn about our paths. We shared and exchanged ideas. I can remember many fantastic discussion on how we all did the same thing, but in different ways and why. People asked for permission to use different parts of ritual and were open to hearing “no, you can’t use it that way, but you could do this with it” There was discussion and ideas and respect.
Opening up to new things is a way to grow. Learning and researching helps us to grow. I know I believed all the “burning times” stuff when I first started out. But as I grew older and dug into history I began to look more critically at books. I began to question and learn. My faith began to take on deeper roots.
I feel that my path is one of learning. That there will always be something new to ponder.
*Freyja, Lady, Vanadis: -Patricia M Layayllve