Monday, 24 February 2014

Excerpt From Paganism 101: My Contribution

Last month I blogged about a book that I helped write called Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans. The book, which is an overview of paganism with contributions from 101 practitioners, including myself, has just reached bookshop shelves.

Obviously, I would like to encourage people to order a copy. To give a little taster of it, here is the short entry I wrote as a commentary and addition to David Salisbury's chapter on Wicca:
One question I often get asked is how being Wiccan affects what I do in my daily life and how I practise Wicca from day to day. 
That is a very good question, because although Wiccans get together to celebrate the seasonal sabbats and the cycles of the moon – called esbats – in ritual, we aren’t required to do any specific daily practices as part of our beliefs. We aren’t instructed to pray each day, say grace before meals, wear specific clothes or jewellery, eat or abstain from particular foods or follow set behaviour apart from the general advice of the Wiccan Rede. This means in everyday life Wiccans can do pretty much what they want so long as their actions don’t harm anyone.

However, many Wiccans do adopt what they call a daily practice. Some Wiccans might choose to meditate each day or do personal magic, but that’s their choice. For my own part, my main regular practice is writing my blog – A Bad Witch’s Blog (www.badwitch.co.uk) – and it requires discipline to keep this up. I started writing it because I hadn’t been part of a coven or Wiccan group for several years and rarely even observed the sabbats. I thought of myself as a lapsed Wiccan – or a Bad Witch – hence my blog’s name. I wanted to be better; I wanted an incentive to become more involved in Wicca and to develop a daily practice – to be a Good Witch.

It worked. These days, as well as meeting up with Wiccan friends to celebrate the sabbats and esbats, I regularly go to pagan talks and moots, read books to increase my knowledge, visit ancient sacred sites and frequently use magical and spiritual techniques – such as spellwork, meditation and divination – in my daily life. Blogging is a modern form of magical diary and I would encourage any witch to try writing one as a way of recording and deepening their practice.

These days I would say my spirituality – Wicca – influences pretty much everything I do, all the time. I believe everything is part of the web of life – which means everything is spiritual and connected. I sense the Earth Goddess alive beneath my feet and the Sky Father above me. I have been known to say hello to the trees in my local park as I walk through on my way to the shops or station, because I am aware that the trees and plants have spirits just as we humans do. I might even hug a tree if no one else is watching – which is perhaps a little embarrassing even for a Bad Witch to admit.
You can order Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans,via Amazon. It is published by Moon Books and edited by Trevor Greenfield. You can read my previous post about it here: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/01/paganism-101-introduction-to-paganism.html

No comments: