Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
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 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
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
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
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 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
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
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Fire Ants and Ice Water: An Unexpected Lesson
Article ID: 13710
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,460
Times Read: 2,035
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Posted: March 14th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,035
Do you remember when it finally “clicked”? I clearly remember those tidbits of delightful self-discovery I made the first weeks after setting out on my Pagan path. It was so liberating to release all my puritanical Christian baggage as I started to really listen to that inner voice of balance. You know, those “ah-ha” moments we all have in our budding spiritual life - those unique moments of clarity.
Consider, for instance, the bright Sunday morning I headed out the door to take my son on a picnic and found I was no longer concerned about angering the stern gray-haired patriarch-in-the-sky for missing a Sunday church service. Or what about when I realized that, despite being a married woman, I no longer anticipated being struck by lightning (or some such similar fate) for having lustful thoughts about actors Antonio Banderas or Hugh Grant. Or perhaps we could consider those financially difficult months, in which surprise expenses were particularly prevalent, and I gratefully released the added burden of guilt for not tithing exactly ten percent of my week’s salary to an organized religion.
As a devotee of both the Lady and Lord I began to absorb the fact that although I am not nearly perfect in action, thoughts or deeds, I am also not the huge sinner the local Christian churches would have had me to believe I was.
As I grew spiritually I learned more about my new path and I began to explore much of what all new Pagans investigate when building a relationship with the Lady and Lord. I learned meditation, rituals, candle magick, the Wheel of the Year, herbs for magick or healing and so much more. My understanding grew, and continues to grow, in all these areas. But I also learned something else… a clearer sense of reality. Along with the liberation and moments of clarity there came some firm lessons, too.
As a brand new Pagan I had daydreams of myself dancing through a meadow “in sync” with my Lady. I had visions of myself as the powerful Witch one sees in many a fantasy art rendering (simply Google “Pagan Art” and see what images pop up!) That was what I wanted to be. The all-knowing wise woman surrounded by little animals who somehow comprehend I would never harm them (of course I wanted to be slender, powerful, fair of complexion with long flowing hair, too… just like those Google images) .
Let’s be honest here, my daydreams even sometimes included me having a propensity for potions that rivaled only that of Professor Severus Snape (you know who I mean… the unsung hero in the Harry Potter stories) .
Admittedly, even at that stage of my life, I had some growing-up to do. The Lady, with her sense of humor and a balance between good and evil made sure to help me out with this. One of my first lessons was in the form of fire ants.
It seemed simple enough. As a Witch I am supposed to be “one with nature”, right? So why not go barefoot and scantily clad, into a lovely remote Texas meadow, set up an altar, and perform a ritual of thanksgiving for all I’ve been blessed with? Sounds perfectly “Witchy”, right?
Let me simply say that fire ants don’t care how sincere one is when meditating or trying to perform a ritual.
Feet, legs, and buttocks all became perfect targets for these tiny creatures regardless of my righteous intent to praise the same Lady who created them. Okay, so maybe the “dancing through the meadow” idea isn’t going to work out (let me rephrase that, I guess you could say I danced but it was more of a hop, rub, slap, ouch-sounds, slap-some-more sort of dance) … but, on the flipside, I did learn more about natural healing - Aloe is great for calming the burn of fire ant stings!
Like many other Pagans, my path became clearer and more realistic as time progressed. Over the next couple of years I settled into a routine of ritual and meditation that worked for me. I honed magickal skills and strengthened my relationship with my Lady and Lord. However, as to be expected, They still had a lot to teach me and icy cold water became another effective teaching tool.
The icy water happened after my husband and I decided to live in an RV and travel the United States full-time. Selling all our property, giving away the majority of our belongings and moving into a small RV required a major adjustment in my daily routines and the way I worship our Lady and Lord. (You can read more about this in The Witches’ Voice article “A Witch in an RV”.) One of these changes came in how and where I perform my ritual cleansing prior to casting a circle. Although water conservation has always been an important objective in my life, conservation became even more significant when we moved into a small RV with a thirty-gallon fresh water tank.
Motivated by our small water tank, I had the not-so-brilliant idea, while in Maine during the month of May, to take a ritual preparatory bath in a bubbling stream. I reasoned that this would be the perfect way to not only save our limited water supply for cooking and toilet flushing but to also intensify my spiritual appreciation for the element of water while bonding more deeply with our Mother.
As you may well imagine, while sitting in the comfort of your computer’s glow, this was not the spiritual experience I had originally anticipated. Rather than appreciating water, this glorious element, all I could think of was those unfortunate Witches subjected to sadistic “dunking” during various Witch hunts in our human history.
It is one thing to read about the tortures inflicted on those suspected of being Witches in our past, it creates an entire new empathy, however, to experience that painful icy water yourself. Once again, a lesson learned and experienced - albeit not the experience I had originally envisioned.
I have learned many other such lessons (too numerous to write about here) as I progressed from my shallow understanding of what being a Witch is all about to my more settled and realistic viewpoint of today. The Lady and Lord seem to always have new lessons for us when we least expect them.
Although I am not physically willowy and I don’t have long flowing hair, like so many of those fantasy artists’ renderings of Witches, I have discovered a deeper understanding and approval of the inner me and what being a Witch means in our modern world. Due to these many valuable lessons I now have a more realistic view of myself as a Witch. I have a power all my own that is not depicted by fantasy artists or found in Harry Potter books.
So often I see young Witches write postings that reflect a disappointment in themselves for their spells not working, or for a connection with a coven or another Witch not being productive. I want to ask - are your expectations realistic? Is there perhaps a lesson there that you weren’t expecting and you might not be realizing clearly? Stop for a moment and take a look at where you are on your path and be sure to look for those hidden lessons in life.
As I advance both spiritually and in maturity each year, ever nearer to becoming a Crone, I find myself wanting even more to encourage young Witches to stretch out and find their own visions of what being a Witch is really all about… just watch out for those fire ants and that icy water along the way!
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