Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
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
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
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
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: 2,867
Times Read: 16,773
RSS Views: 58,925
Author: Sia@FullCircle [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 12th. 2006
Times Viewed: 16,773
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?
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Email Sia@FullCircle... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
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