Monday, March 28, 2011

New beginings

The Wheel of the Year

Unfortunately we didn't get to celebrate Ostara.  I was so sick in bed in a flare that my DH had to carry me to the bathroom everytime I needed to go that day.  I could barely sit up for more than a couple of minutes, lifting my head was unbearably hard work.  Maybe Ostara wasn't the way the Goddess wants to welcome me into the path.  So, I've been studying a lot, looking in different books, looking online, and meditating.  I want to honor the Goddess and I want to have a ceremony marking my entrance into this new part of my life.  The day before last I was meditating and I saw a Siamese Twin fish fly out of the sea.  No matter what I tried to do differently my meditation was stuck, and I kept getting the same image over and over again.  I am left wondering what that could mean.  I've been looking up possible explanations and haven't found one yet that I agree with.  I've been looking up with the archetypal meanings of fish, twins, and the sea, and I'm trying to figure out if that or if somehow Gemini twins had something to do with a Pisces fish.  Perhaps the Siamese Twin fish flying out of the sea over and over meant nothing but an image my mind came up with.  I think it is something more, though.
Siamese Twin Fish
I want to describe my thought process here, and from there I hope to take my ritual.

First I want to discuss "what I hope to gain."  I want to gain spiritual fulfillment, and to feel peace on a deeper level than before.  I want to walk with the Goddess as She changes with the Wheel of the Year.  I want to foster a deeper connection to the earth than I'd had before.  I want to understand things on a deeper level that I feel I'm close to, but can't quite reach.  I want to learn methods of healing, for myself, and for helping others.

Next I want to discuss "what I hope to give."  This topic had me thinking longer than the first.  I want to give to the Earth by recycling my soda cans and paper.  That part was easy, and I'm almost doing that now.  I want to give reverence for the Goddess and the God.  I want to learn about them, to talk to them, to honor them, to worship them.  I want to learn ways to heal so that I can give a gift of healing to others.  When I give of myself I also give my intellect and spirit.  I bring the gift of an open mind and a large heart.

I want to gear my ritual toward the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, for she is the one to begin a new phase of your life with.  I'm not sure if you actually have to greet the Four Quarters everytime or whether only some traditions do it.  I'm also not sure why it is done at all, so I'm trying to look into that.  I really like the idea of sprinkling salt in a circle rather than using the athame.  I've read rituals that do either way.  I like the ritual in the Maiden, Mother, Crone book by D.J. Conway a lot.

The ritual in the book calls for a white candle, incense, a chalice or cup of juice, a small dish of common salt, pencil and paper, and a metal bowl if you plan to burn the paper.  Some of the alter decorations it calls for are decorations of deer, forest animals, and white stones.  I wanted to look and see what I could do in place of deer and forest animals since I don't have any.

The ritual calls for you to light the incense and greet the Four Quarters.  Like I said before, I don't really understand the Four Quarters.  Then you hold your hand over the dish of salt and ask for the blessings of the Goddess, while creating your circle by sprinkling salt around the edges of the circle.  It then calls for you to light the white candle and to write on the paper the goals you wish to accomplish.  At this point I am going to write down my "what I hope to gain" list.

Beautiful Maiden of the forests, Huntress of the soul, I call upon You to be here with me now.  I need Your guidance as I strive for spiritual knowledge and growth.  Help me also with [my what I hope to gain list].  I wish with all my heart to accomplish these desires in a positive way.  If these are not to my good, reveal to me the direction to take, and the goals to which I should aspire.  I await Your guidance and direction.

The ritual then calls for you to sit quiet, concentrating on your wishes.  I will do the Maiden Meditation in the book at this point.  It was during the Maiden Meditation that I kept getting the fish picture the other day.  After meditation, you fold the paper, light it from the candle, and drop it into the metal bowl to burn.

I give my desires and dreams into Your keeping.  By Air, I create the seed.  By Fire, I warm it.  By Water, I nourish it.  By Earth, I cause it to grow.  From Spirit, I draw the power to make all things possible.  Join me in celebration of the power of the Goddess.

Then you are to hold the chalice, and drink from it.

Thank you, lovely Maiden.

Dismiss the Quarters.  Extinguish the candle.  Dispose of the ashes.

The Maiden Goddess

So after all the research I did, I found the ritual I liked the most in the book I started with.  I did find in another book the importance of knowing what you can give to you faith and what it can give to you.  I found that to be very helpful.

My DH and I were talking the other night about Wiccans and other Pagans that sing all of the ritual.  I really like that idea.  Remember, I was a cradle Catholic.  We did that a lot in the Catholic Church.  I'm amazed to find the high percentage of Catholics among the Pagans I've met online.  I'm not the only one, that's for sure.

Well my hands and back are in a lot of pain now, so I have to go.  


Celestial Elf said...

Sorry you've been ill and missed Otara,
but thankyou for a lovely post :D
thought you might enjoy my Beltane Blessing machinima film
Bright Blessings
elf ~

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