Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sex as Religion

I was never a fan of the word religion as it conjures up images of patriarchal practices and silly costumes... and outmoded dogmas recited by rote. However taken as one definition " the ritual observance of faith", I would have to say that pretty much sums up my beliefs about the sacred act of sexual communion. In my way, there is celebration of both the male and female spirit, as god and goddess from whom we seek advice, give thanks, and explore the depths of the human condition. I can understand both powers at work in different ways that adds to the great spirit of the All (which is such a mind boggling concept that there are no suitable words to talk about it). Sex is such a powerful spiritual celebration when enjoyed to the fullest, and it is my belief that it will bring you closer to the Divine than any other religious ceremony... especially those that condemn the act itself. Why do many of the major religions put such harsh rules on such a joyous and natural gift from the gods and goddesses? It is all a matter of power... they want to sell you your salvation... if we were all solitary practitioners think of the lost revenue. It is no coincidence that the word intercourse can mean coitus or it can also mean an interchange of thoughts or feelings. Here is key that turns the whole experience from a physical pleasure to a sacred celebration... the communion (intimate communication) that occurs before, during , and after sex. In my brand of religion there are no rules or boundaries here... except one, "as it harm none  do as you will." There is great solitary sex to be had, and great sharing sex to be had and the frequent rituals of both is one way to become closer to the ecstasy of the Divine thing that cannot be talked about. Try to think of anything that comes close to that wave of electrical excitement and then convince me that dogmatic rules should be placed on such a natural expression of human truth... and I'll tell you your dogma is barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tools of the Craft

One of the things that I most enjoy about the my practice of the Craft, is the ritual associated with honoring the god and goddess who watch over and guide my way. Books are probably my most important tool, as through them I gain insight from others that I might have missed on my own. The important tenets of the pentagram for which I use as a symbol of my faith evoke the five elements of earth, water, air, fire and spirit at the very top. In the rituals I may use sand as earth, tap water, an athame (or small dagger) to waft air, candles as fire and my sincere intent to welcome Spirit that incorporates both male and female deities within my circle of celebration. Many people wrongly equate the symbol of the pentagram with evil intent, including some members of my family who see my tools displayed in my private sanctuary. Just as it was in olden times, people are frightened of things they don't understand and my Craft or way of celebrating my way in the world is mysterious. While I don't spend too much time worrying what others think (everyone is free to form their own opinion) sometimes just a simple explanation of the tools and symbols is enough to alleviate fear. The question I usually pose when confronted with the question of evil intent, is to ask the question, " You know my person, do I seem like an evil person to you?" My family would be hard pressed to answer that in the affirmative, and so they have come to accept my private celebrations. After all the reason I am a solitare is to be at home and alone with Spirit in a way that is befitting to me. It is a highly personal matter and in this way, I don't need the recognition of recruits to know I am on the right path for me. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Divination is a process of gaining insight into one's life through the ritualistic use of tools. Two of  the methods that are dear to my heart are Tarot card readings and Rune Casting. Many people are afraid of these tools, as they have had a dark shadow cast over them from religions that seem to prevent people from finding divinity within themselves through exploration. Some of the symbols on the Tarot cards look intimidating and yet they are not always what they seem. The dreaded Death card for instance, does not necessarily relate to a physical death... it could easily apply to a death of an old habit, or an end to a way of thinking. I continue to study the Tarot as it is complex and rich in the telling of the spiritual journey that we all as humans face. Each day I choose a card and then record it's meaning as I watch how the interpretations unfold. Sometimes when I choose a card, it will give me an insight into a problem that lingers below the realm of my current attention. In either case there is self reflection and study, something that is dear to the solitary witch who doesn't accept anyone else's interpretation of what a spiritual life should be. Rune casting involves the choosing of stones that are marked with a Nordic alphabet. Each one represents an insight into the understanding of the progress of the spiritual pursuit of the chooser. I usually choose three stones that represent the past, present, and future. In this way I have a big picture view of where I am vs. where I need to be. I hope it is clear that in using these tools, there is a personal responsibility to think and study and intuit. A solitary witch knows that she/he is the best judge of interpretation, as your own inner guide who is already divine will help the human of you through life's journey. The divination tools hone your ability to see deeper into the spiritual quest and intuit the best possible direction for self understanding. There is nothing evil or scary here... unless you find those qualities within yourself. Then it signals a gentle reason for change.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Full Moon Esbat

I love celebratory rituals and so I worship the Goddess at the height of the full moon. Esbat is a word to describe this observance. It is a simple but heartfelt ceremony where I rise from my bed at midnight, and weather permitting go outside with bare feet to gaze and reflect on the brightness of the moon's light. I then return indoors to my "meditation room," where I will don my black cape, light candles and with the tools of my craft, will open a sacred circle of energy.

Through the open window I will thank the Goddess for her guidance and protection in my life and then recite "The Charge of the Goddess" by Dorothy Valiente. Then before an old family mirror I will reflect on the goddess within myself  and in doing so will see with the mind's eye what needs changing and what is working in my life. There is always a measure of balance in this meditation. I may recite personal poems to the Goddess or sometimes I will recite from the lovely "Celtic Devotional" of Caitlin Matthews or the "Prayer of Dedication" from Michelle Morgan. 

Usually at least twice a year, I will celebrate the esbat by "Bringing Down the Moon." This is a powerful rite where you quite literally infuse yourself with the light of the moon. A bowl of water is placed within the direct light of the moon (I usually position this indoors, as many of my animal friends would probably drink it). Once infused, this is brought to the ceremony and placed in a goblet where after giving thanks to Goddess, it is drunk slowly. The energy is incredible and is felt deep within the pelvis long after the ritual is completed.

Following the ceremony, I pour some "ale" (beer or whiskey mead is just fine) into two goblets (one for me and one for Goddess) and place a small portion of cookies or biscuits on a plate. I drink and eat after a proper toast and then the cakes and ale that were set out for Goddess are taken outdoors to be given as libations to the night spirits.

I always conclude by closing the sacred circle and giving thanks for all the good that comes to me.

Blessed be!