Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Witchcraft as Goddess Religion

One of my re-reads on this path is Starhawk's The Spiral Dance. I bought it when I took the Elemental Workshop that I mentioned in my last post as part of the mandatory reading material.

I love reading, it's a major part of who I am, I often have one or more books on the go at any one time. A lot of the books I read are fiction, every now and then I'll pick up something with more intellectual weight. I'll be completely honest with you though. I sometimes have difficulty absorbing the information. What I mean, is that while I am reading I get what is being discussed, I understand the material. When I am no longer reading, sometimes the information that I have just finished reading seems to melt out of my head. It's a bit frustrating and one of the reasons that I started to take notes when reading so that I could go back and read my thoughts on the text and hopefully have it stick. Sometimes this works and others not so much... often what I'm left with is the gist, which is often enough and not so rarely not enough.

The point of this post then:
I'm re-reading The Spiral Dance and these are my thoughts so far on the chapter that I've been reading today; Witchcraft as Goddess Religion. It's a chapter that speaks to the legend of witchcraft's history being careful not to erroneously call the legend historic fact which would call down the wrath of the intellectual community. It is a full legend, lush with hypothetical assumptions based on what could have been truths if there were any documentation to back them up. Happily, the thing about faith is that it doesn't rely on facts but on belief. Whether the Goddess religion is more than 35,000 years old or new to this century is not relevant, nor should it be. What is important that it makes spiritual sense to those who follow it.

Witchcraft takes it's teachings from nature and reads inspiration in the movements of the sun, moon and stars, the flight of birds, the slow growth of trees and the cycles of the seasons-Starhawk, The Spiral Dance

Ultimately; for me, the Divine springs from a universal place. The Christian God is just a different aspect of that ultimate force. Ditto for Hindu, Islam, Buddhism and any other Deity out there.

With this reading, the idea that poetry and not theology is what Witchcraft is built on is sticking in my thoughts as I consider what I've read. And it makes sense, I've called on the Elements breathing in the scent of fresh earth, blowing soap bubbles, dancing like a flame in a campfire and imaging ocean waves crashing into the sand. I've welcomed the Goddess and the God into my circle with a simple song, there is not one single way to practice a Pagan religion...

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