Saturday, February 24, 2007

Coming out of the Broom Closet: Don't ask, don't spell

Merry Meet!

I have had conversations with many witches of diverse traditions. I have also met many gay folk. Many gay folk who practice the Craft and they all say the same thing: I was easier for me to come out of the sexual closet than the broom closet. I thought to myself why that is, and with hopes that I don't offend any gay folk, this is what I have come up with.

Gay folk are looked at as misguided folks who may be sinners but have done nothing that God cannot forgive, but tell your family that you are a witch and images of grotesque blasphemies rise up in the minds of your family. They assume you have done something to commit the unforgivable sin and that is "Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit".

And this simply comes from a place of ignorance. They believe all those scary stories that have been told since the Middle Ages that we sacrifice children and have sex with the devil and attend black masses. The thing is, a true witch would find that distasteful to do something to insult another religion, the second thing is that the activities themselves would have very little meaning to a true witch, as their religious beliefs do not acknowledge the importance to such things as the black mass, as these are simply parodies of a Christian activity. And no witch would harm a child, it is against the rede and the legends of child sacrifice exist as a part of testimony only after torture by the Inquisition.

For me, I believe that I will likely be in the broom closet all of my life. It doesn't bother me, it simply is this way. The Craft does not require me to convert, in fact the Craft is esoteric, but it is sad that the reason I can't be more up front about my practice is that people refuse to accept the diversity of the world.

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Imbolc for the Christian Crafter

Merry Meet

Imbolc lands during an auspicious time for the Christian Crafter, especially one who is Catholic. This year, Imbolc lands just before the Lenten season, the time of sacrifice in preparation for the Easter Holiday when we Christian Crafters celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. The theme should be familiar for Wiccan and Pagan folk, as they celebrated the death and resurrection of their god at Yule.

Imbolc for our Pagan and Wiccan friends is the celebration of the first signs of spring. It is the milk festival, when the lambs are born and begin to suckle. It is also called Brigantia, the Feast of Brede, or Bridget. This is a feast to bring honor to the earth goddess of the Celts or Druids. The Irish have since Christianized Bridget, but this is not the way I celebrate Imbolc. For me, Imbolc is the waiting time, when I mark not only my Christian fsting, but my Wicce fasting, to purify myself and prepare for Ostara, where I shed the old self and prepare for the new growing season of spring. It is during this time that I get ready to plant my herbs and my flowers and I clean my home and my sacred space and get ready for a summer of preparing new potions, new ingredients, and getting ready for another year of healing, creativity and rest. I may also be reading books I have bought through the winter and did not have time to read and study and I may be buying more books. I will be also adding to my Book of Shadows.

Imbolc is my signal to begin the process of getting rid of things I no longer need. I may be giving away books, if I haven't marked them up badly, which is something I do when I study, I can't help it. I may be cataloging things and making note of things that I need and what I don't need anymore.

I will be fasting. I will cut back on heavy, greasy food, drinking more water, definitely passing up meat on Friday and giving up something like chocolate, which is full of fat anyway, and spending more time in meditation and contemplation.

Imbolc is a time of purification, so I may be purifying tools, old and new, rededicating old tools and dedicating new ones. I may be on the search for new statues for my altar or a new incense burner or new cauldron.

So whatever you do in your Imbolc practices, dedicate them to your Sacred Spirit and prepare for the most festive of seasons.

Brightest Blessings Be

Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk