Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Tradition of Wicca

In my earlier post, I gave a quick overview of what Wicca is about. Now I'm going to give you a bit of background about what my Tradition is like. Some of this is going to look much like mainstream Wicca and some of it is going to look like Asatru. And then there are going to be elements that are entirely different from them. As my Tradition is part of a living religion, it evolves and changes to adapt to my needs as time passes. What I write here is something of a snapshot of how I currently practice Wicca.

I was raised in an atheist/agnostic household. My mother was a kitchen witch in the secular sense with some veneration of the Aseir thrown in. My earliest introduction to the Aseir, Vanir, and Jotnar came from the bedtime stories read to my brothers and I from a book of Scandinavian myths for children. While my parents didn't perform any rituals or habitual acts of veneration, they didn't discourage us from worship. For a time, my siblings and I swore oaths by Odin, made shrines to the Vanir, searched to find Jotuns, and got into fist fights over which deity was the best. I am fairly certain that the Aseir, Vanir, and Jotnar all got a fair amount of laughter out of the three of us.

As we grew older, my brothers moved away from worshiping the gods of our ancient ancestors. I continued in my worship but gradually became discouraged because I didn't know others who did so. My interest in religion was encouraged by my mother, my paternal grandmother, and my aunts. For a time, I went to church with my Prebyterian grandparents and uncle. I grew bored with it after a few months and left, not bothering to look back. I continued to hold the gods of my ancient ancestors in high regard, though I stopped praying to them.

In my early teens, I was initiated in to Wicca by my aunts. Suddenly, my psychic experiences made sense. My relationship with the Divine took on depth that I hadn't expected but intuitively knew was there. I pledged myself to serve as a visionary priestess of the Goddess in a small solitary ritual out on the back 40 acres of the farm. From that point on, I found myself pushed to study and research the Celts and the Norse peoples. I dabbled in soft polytheism for a while but kept returning to hard polytheism when dealing with the deities of these peoples.

The importance of honor and keeping one's word was impressed on me from an early age. I also had the importance of hospitality and guest right put before me, though not in those terms. As my education about the Celtic people expanded, I began to interact with the nature spirits about my home. I learned how to handle interactions with spiritual beings with respect and grace. I also began to engage in ancestor veneration.

Today, I acknowledge the gods of different peoples as separate and unique identities. The Goddess and God of Wicca are present in my life as well. They are their own unique identities and at times manifest wearing the appearances of other deities. This, however, does not happen as frequently as it once did. I celebrate the holy days of Wicca and keep an altar dedicated to the Wiccan gods. I give votive offerings to Loki (my patron deity) and his wife Sigyn. I leave votive offerings for the dead at times as well.

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