Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article Specs |
Article ID: 6410
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,807
Times Read: 3,258
Author: Ares Hearthfire [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: July 6th. 2003
Times Viewed: 3,258
Sacrifice. No one word says more about dedication to a cause than this. We hear this word all the time. Even in sports you hear phrases like "Taking One for the Team." Sacrifice...it's a deadly word, it's a sacred word, it's a word given to people that give themselves for others to gain.
In movies we see heroes die to save loved ones. In war soldiers jump on grenades to save comrades in arms. We weep, we salute them and we honor such people. Sacrifice is thought of in religious concepts also. In the Christian Pantheon Jesus sacrificed himself for others. However, most elders in our paths have also sacrificed of themselves.
Gerald Gardner, the first person to come out of the broom closet, sacrificed himself for the good of the faith (though some argue that). Without him risking his own well-being amongst a world of intolerance we would not have any Wiccans today and such groups as AREN and others would never have come around.
In my personal life it causes me to make sacrifices. I must sacrifice my time for rituals, money for tools and time for preparation. Without giving of yourself none of these rewards would ever come. Even the Three Fold Law in Wicca encourages sacrifice. If you give of yourself to help something happen it only stands to reason that we will be rewarded for it. Not many people ever see someone give anything of themselves and than ask why. Everyone always wishes that they could do that.
At one time I did not even know what I was doing. I was brought up in a non-religious Jewish household. I never accepted the Bible, since the book seemed artificial. In my rejection of the faith, I was making a sacrifice. I understood that I would do better if I followed another path. When I discovered that path, it was Wicca. All the teachings I had ever had were now going to be replaced. In giving up of the old teachings I was making a sacrifice to the Gods.
How is giving up our childhood teachings a sacrifice? People never think of it as one, yet you are sacrificing those thoughts, those words, and those teachings in order to grow and to find yourself. It is a rite of passage. You really are giving up those thoughts to the Lord and Lady! Sacrifice need not be just giving up something material; indeed, sacrificing thoughts are just as worthy of the word as giving up anything material. In fact, it may be harder. Maybe, just maybe, that is the reason why it is so fulfilling to come to a Pagan Path. It is my belief that this is what happened to me when I "came home" to Wicca.
It is not easy to give of yourself. Any person that has ever started a coven, ran a coven or a Pagan event or festival will tell you how much hard work it is. They have to spend hours writing rules, talking to people, preparing paperwork and countless other things; they know what sacrifice is all about. Why is there a Starwood or a Craftwise every year? Because those that give of themselves year in and year out feel such a method of satisfaction that they can't help but to do the work over again.
Sacrifice, it is a mere word. In itself the word can cast different emotions out of people depending on how they see it. However, without it we would be isolated. Without it, no one would come together. If certain people could not make sacrifices we would not have the Witches' Voice. How many people use the site as a resource? How many people come to this place on a regular basis? Yet those that work for it take no pay, make no money. I would not even be writing this essay if not for them. Those behind that make a sacrifice to the Pagan Community greater than other people ever think about.
When you go to the local book store or Pagan shop and pick up a book you can see the time and effort that has gone into it. Many dislike certain authors for making money, yet the money is not that much and is this not a sacrifice? After meeting many Pagan authors throughout my journey I can honestly say that they are not given enough credit. Countless hours are spent in front of a computer or with pen in hand just to put together something for others to learn. How many of us write books? How many of us complained when doing three pages of homework at school? Just think of the frustration it is to write a couple of hundred pages, risking public ridicule, just so they can be heard. The time put into such work is a sacrifice of other duties. We owe ALL of them a thank you. Whether you agree with a person or not, they are enabling future Pagans of different paths to come into the light. Without such sacrifices many of us would not be here.
People always think of ritual when they think of many of our religions. Yet, as Pagans, the most stunning sacrifice most of us make is in the mundane world. Living openly and risking your job and reputation just to see that you can enlighten some. Living in the shadows and sacrificing your own right to live as you wish out of fear. Both are types of sacrifice. No one should ridicule those that do the opposite. It is not easy to give up anything, yet both polarities give up something. To me, this is why our community is so amazing. It does not take dying to give something; a matter of fact, living at a loss is a much bigger sacrifice then not having to live with your decision can ever be.
Paganism has much sacrifice in it. We may not recognize and think about one person's sacrifice. We must see the sacrifice that we make every day. Just to survive and practice our religion as such a minority. Many have lost friends; some have lost families. Yet for all they have given...they have still found the Goddess and the God. Sacrifice abounds in Paganism...we may not have a martyr, but we all have each other. Blessed Be for that.
Location: new york city and metro area, New York
Bio: The author is from Queen's NY and is co-founder of the Coven of the Sacred Chalice, a Witchvox sponsor and Wiccan teacher. He has been a practicing Wiccan for 8 years.
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