Many years past a couple of friends and I were talking about religion. What we liked, what we didn’t like. I said then, “If I had not been born a Catholic I would have followed Wicca.”
I never forgot that. To be honest, I never realized at the time what being born, or not being born Catholic, had to do with following any religion for any reason.
But there were parts of Wicca I always liked. Its close relation to nature. Ritual. Reflection. Seeking wisdom. Acknowledging the old ways and the old gods. Forming and shaping parts and elements of the belief to fit your own worldview. A very personal and eclectic system to be built, if that’s what you wanted.
Over the years I wondered if that was what I wanted. I remain unsure to some degree. But I have decided to follow Wicca for a calender year (loosely, Samhain to Samhain) and delve into it and learn.
My reason for this is twofold. One, just by learning more about this cannot but help me with my fiction. I write a lot of dark fantasy. I have never been well-steeped in some facets of that world. Knowing more about it, learning more about it, can only help me as a writer if I continue to write.
And I will continue to write.
Second, I honestly do like the nature aspect of this. Helping me connect more to nature can only be a positive thing. Anyone who follows my blog or knows me well knows how much I like camping and getting away and being by myself. I am hoping I can find new synergy here. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t care. It’s the journey that interests me most. As a writer I am always more interested in journey than in endings and beginnings. Seeking wisdom. Looking into yourself. Being alone without being lonely. That has always been who I am.
I’m going to blog about this and I am going to approach it legitimately. Now, I certainly do realize that with my deep background in physics and chemistry and skepticism leavened with an INTJ personality there may be some bumpy roads ahead. That’s all fine. For what writer alive thinks human life isn’t about conflict? At the core of things, what else is there to write about? What else do we write about?
So I am going to be very honest with myself about all this. I know there are some things I am going to have a hard time accepting. I may never accept any of it. Maybe I won’t like it. Maybe I’ll get tired of it. Maybe the pressures of the every day world will find a way to tear this idea from my consciousness.
I’m all good with that. I’m a writer first. You think I am going to pass up the opportunity for potential story ideas?
I don’t know how much of this I can do, either. I want to be honest about it and approach it openly, but I can’t lie to myself. I doubt I am going to have the time to celebrate the many-fold parts of this. But I will be honest about it, and my intent will be good, so I’ll see where it goes.
So for one calender year I am going to follow Wicca, learn about it, do it, perform it, be honest to it. If I don’t like it I will stop. If I do like it I will keep going. No matter what happens I will blog about it and write about it here, and use all those experiences to broaden my fiction.
There are many ways to seek the path. I think the eclectic one, a solitary path, is right for me. I am not interested in covens or anything like that. In Wicca there is often the Lord and Lady you pay homage to plays a prominent role. But you can choose other pantheons. Lots of witches do and that seems to be a path I would like to explore. The Norse gods have always interested me and here’s a way I can delve more deeply into that mythology. To really get at the bones of the myth and immerse myself in it without being fanatical about it all.
That’s why I have decided to go with Odin and Freya. Perhaps Frigg in place of Freya? I’ll have to think about it and do more research. It remains to be seen which one speaks to me the most. Conventional Norse choices, I suppose, but they seem right to me at the moment. Which is not to say I might not turn to Lord and Lady or even other gods like Egyptian, Celtic, Japanese, or what have you. There are a lot to choose from. You can follow whomever you like, who speaks to you, as long as you have good intent. But I think Norse feels right to me in a very deep and personal way. Especially these gods known for wisdom and strength and knowledge and beauty. I like that. I like that a lot.
The eclectic part will work better for me rather some something more structured like, say, Asatru. Although there are parts of Asatru I like as well. Oh, well, I also get to decide if I use a Pentacle, Valknut, or Triquetra on my altar. Not that I have an altar. Gotta make that someday. Fun!
So there you have it. This is what I am going to do. Well, aside from writing. I’m going camping tomorrow in Santa Rosa, NM and later Palo Duro if I’m not too tired. I intend to finish the Haxan story while camping, do a ton of reading and think about this decision at more depth.
While I am out I am going to look for a wand. They say the tools of your altar find you when you are ready. We will see about that.
This is something that has been building in the back of my mind for more than half a decade now. Now I am going to do it and learn what I can and have fun.
So mote it be.