Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Hearts and Flowers: Reclaiming Valentine's Day
Article ID: 8286
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,948
Times Read: 18,798
RSS Views: 58,925
Author: Sia@FullCircle [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 12th. 2006
Times Viewed: 18,798
This story is for those among us who hate Valentine's Day because they find it meaningless, commercial and depressing. It doesn't have to be that way...
It's February 14th, 1987 - Somewhere in Los Angeles, nine women are dining in an elegant restaurant. The group is a mixed circle of ages, sizes, colors, and lifestyles. They have three things in common: they have been friends for years, they are all single, and they are dressed to kill.
"Why should we sit home on Valentine's Night feeling lonely and full of self pity?" they said. "Let's get out there and celebrate." And so they did.
They have a marvelous time. The restaurant is lovely, the service perfect, and the food superb. The women tell stories and jokes and toast one another frequently. Nearby diners sneak curious glances at their table. "Why are they staring at us?" the women ask. "They are wondering", the waiter says, "which of you is the bride-to-be."
During the meal, the women read poems and limericks.(1) Some of the women read their own work, some recite old favorites. Earthy female laugher erupts from the table as the friends read aloud from works by Dorothy Parker and Edna Saint Vincent Millay .
The ladies at this table are not looking for a lover to "rescue" them from their lives and they do not think that loving another person will somehow solve all their problems. They are grown-ups, after all. Still, this is a fairy story so something magical is bound to occur. What happens is this: each woman celebrates her best Self this night, a unique creation she sees mirrored back to her in the loving faces of her friends. Some of these women will choose to love again and they will remember what is due that Self and choose their partners more wisely then they have before. Some in that Circle will choose to live alone and give their love(2) to the things that matter to them the most. All these women will have lives that are equally rich; filled with laughter, inspiration, and grace. It's all in how you play it.
But, I digress.
The ladies finish the main course and the dessert cart arrives to much rejoicing. One small ritual remains to close the Circle, and that involves the giving of gifts. Names were chosen by lot beforehand and the rule was this: presents had to cost less than $15.00 and each gift must be a token; something that represents what each woman likes most about that particular friend. The best part of the evening is now spent in a haze of chocolate decadence as the women open their presents and share the meaning of these gifts with one another.
It is late when their celebration ends. The women go their separate ways and each carries her special gift home with her.
I still have mine.
Fast forward now to late January 2004 - I am standing in the aisle of our local superstore, talking into the cell phone with my friend Molly and laughing so hard my sides hurt. Anyone walking by will see a crazy lady surrounded on all sides by pink and red hearts. She appears to be talking to herself and tears of mirth are running down her cheeks.
I'm laughing because everywhere I look I see hearts in the shape of candles, dishes, decorations, and gifts. I see hearts on hundreds of cards, hearts on t-shirts, hearts on purses, on mirrors (which sends me into more gales of laughter) and on pillows. I'm standing in the center of six solid aisles of hearts and thinking, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" It's at that moment that I have to call my gal-pal. I need to share this with another woman who understands...
Bear with me, all ye who hate this holiday for I will reveal a mystery. For years, we've been told that the heart symbol is an ideogram(3) for romantic love. It doesn't stop there, of course. There is the idea of Courtly Love and then there is sex. Speaking of sex, let's consider that arrow which is sometimes represented as penetrating the heart and the other decorations we find where two hearts are paired...."Dr. Freud, please call your office."
Ideograms are scattered throughout our past, ("Professor Campbell, your class is waiting") and they serve a very valuable function. Nevertheless, I'm going to ask you to see the heart symbol in a different, yet connected way, because I believe it to be a sacred shape .
For many in the Earthwise community that heart symbol is our version of Sheila-Na-Gig. This concept has been discussed by feminists for many years, and was recently re-stated by Gloria Steinem in her wonderful forward to The Vagina Monologues. She writes:
"...the shape we call a heart -- whose symmetry resembles the vulva far more than the asymmetry of the organ that shares its name -- is probably a residual female genital symbol. ...I thought of this while watching little girls drawing hearts in their notebooks, even dotting their i's with hearts, and I wondered: Were they magnetized by this primordial shape because it was so like their own bodies?" The heart symbol comes in shades from blushing rose, to blood red, as is proper for the colors of passion and romance. Is this heart's blood, we ask, or does it belong to some other organ? You decide.
Here is another question: Why is it that western culture prefers to have only its females associated with the heart shape? Males rarely wear or receive this symbol (except when they are given a pair of boxer shorts with hearts on the front as a joke). Is this segregation due to the belief that love is a woman's main concern, or is it because some part of us recognizes that this symbol is, in fact, uniquely female?(4)
And now you see why I was laughing. Here I was standing in (dare I say it?) the commercial heart of Western culture, and I was surrounded by thousands of silly-sacred, woman-shaped, sex-positive symbols. (Really, when you think about it, those greeting card folks are a lot of filthy minded old so-and-so's... Gods love 'em.)
As for the giving of flowers, well, that's a longer story for another time. I will simply remark that flowers have always been a symbol of love, fertility, and romance and point you to the evocative flower paintings of Georgia O'Keefe.
Sometime in the future - All over the world, those who wish to reclaim this holiday for their own (both men and women) visit a website called V-Day. V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. There are V-Day events happening near you - check it out.
We have a chance this month to look in the mirror and to see our own unique gifts. From that vision comes empowerment and from the rich soil of empowerment blossom creativity and change. We can do that magic alone, among our friends or through community action. What matters most is that we celebrate the heart in ways that truly honor our Selves and one another.
Here's to the sacred and sexual beauty of women all over the world!
(1) Bawdy limericks are an art form. You'd be amazed at what can be done with clean language by a dirty mind.
(2) The ancient Greeks believed that there is more then one kind of love. For a discussion of Eros, Philia and Agape, visit the Philosophy of Love page.
(3) An ideogram is a sign or symbol that directly represents a concept, idea, or thing.
(4) Why not fly in the face of tradition and buy a heart-shaped present for a man? Real men (whether they be straight, gay or bisexual) appreciate the Goddess. If he's got a sense of humor, let him in on the joke.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Sia@FullCircle - Click HERE
Bio: Sia is the Council Leader for Full Circle Events, a non-profit Neo-Pagan group which hosts the annual Beltane Ball and The Witches Ball. They also offer a California Community Events Calendar. Sia lives in Northern California with her husband. Also living with them are four cats, a three-legged dog and any number of wild things which inhabit their native garden. She can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
Image: This heart wreath comes from the Smithsonian Museum gift store and was inspired by their collection of Victorian Era postcards. The Smithsonian gift store is a great place to shop for Americana and unique gifts. The Smithsonian Institute oversees the American Indian Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the African Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Zoo and other national treasures. Pagan Parents, nature lovers and history buffs will find a lot to love on their website(s).
Author's Note: If you have enjoyed reading this piece, I ask that you help support The Witches' Voice in their efforts to celebrate and support the Pagan community by becoming a Witchvox Sponsor . They rely on our support to keep this non-profit website up and running, so please, do your part to help our community and send them a donation.
Other Articles: Sia@FullCircle has posted 23 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Sia@FullCircle... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).