Monday, September 27, 2004

Reflections on WitchStock (Eight Days)

(c) Andy Ternay
  • Beauty, one of the gifts of the Goddess in this world.
  • Eight Days.

    One of the things I did not understand initially about WitchStock is how the land worked, I mean who owns it, how do we get to use it, etc. I had kind of thought that maybe the land was owned by one or two people and they let Celtic Groves use it once a year or something like that. That may still be generally accurate, but the land itself, fifty acres called Circle Star Retreat, is evidently a kind of permanent space set aside for Pagan groups to use as a retreat area.

    As a result, the area is literally sprinkled with trails and groves and sacred spaces.

    Folks in my coven insist that the land is charged with the energy of religious and magical, from the workings and worship of those who have come before. I am a magickal illiterate, I take their word for it for the most part. However, I was able to observe several interesting things myself:
    ∑ Prayer to my Higher Power, the Goddess Brigit, seemed different there, especially when I did it alone on the nature trail.
    ∑ During the energy workship, I felt it when Briar Rose, High Priestess of Drangonlair, sent energy my way. I also felt it when I did the little exercise to draw energy from within myself. I am going to try that exercise at home during my morning meditation today and see if I can feel it.
    ∑ When I was alone on the nature trails, at one point I was in a large meadow with flowers. In the distance, I could see a butterfly flitting around and thought: Goddess, if you are willing, I’d like a picture of that butterfly. It immediately landed on a flower in front of me.
    ∑ Our ritual by my little coven seemed charged with energy.
    ∑ On a different trial, I tried the old meditation trick of picturing the energy entering my body from the earth below. At home this feels like a diffuse fog of gentle energy entering me. At Circle Star it felt like lightning bolts entering my body.
    ∑ Then, of course, Jewel did a Tarot reading for me that was uncannily, eerily accurate in every way. That was downright spooky.
    ∑ The twelve-step meeting was powerful in a way that few meetings I attend are.

    People tend to think of Pagans as polytheistic or pantheistic. I cannot speak of for other Pagans, but I am a monotheist. What I use the Pagan/Wiccan mythology and framework to do is to create an concept of God that I can understand. To me, that is the Celtic Goddess Brigit. I understand, as do most Pagans/Wiccans I meet, that this is simply a metaphor for a Being I cannot understand, a tool to make the incomprehensible comprehensible. I also understand that my view of this Creator/Creatrix is sadly incomplete and imperfect and that this view cannot be cast in stone because my understanding of It will evolve and change.

    My understanding of the Divine is that the Divine is immanent, present in the world of nature, the people around me and even in myself. WitchStock has helped to make that worldview more complete, provided a framework for me to link these belief and feelings.

    That is a great gift.

    It has now been eight days.

    Good Morning Goddess Brigit, my name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. I have been kept sober since Imbolc 2001 by Your grace and Your grace alone. I’d like to take this moment to thank You, my Higher Power, for this my daily reprieve. Today is a good day to be sober. Please, Goddess, be with me today all through the day and help me to stay sober all day long. Show me Your will for me and grant me the power to carry that out. Thy will, not mine, be done. Be welcome in me and to me; body, heart, mind and soul. Thank You, Blessed Be!