Sunday, September 4, 2011

Desired Home XV

My final letter to the coven I used to attend (sent this time last year)

It's quite funny to look back on my past in this way.  A part of the reason I am posting this is because it was 

(a) Deleted from the forum shortly after and hardly anyone got to read it, including many people I'd spent a great deal of loving and spiritual time with;
(b) Those who did not get to read it were told that it was nasty - when it's anything but;
(c) To show those who are still within that coven my true intentions from that time as I seem to have this odd reputation with them; and
(d) In my own way I'd rather like this to be permanently available on the internet so that others can read this and understand what it's like to be a constrained coven experience.

The background to this forum post
The high priestess had, on many occasions, made me feel as though I knew what I was doing throughout my time with her and a callout had been made to coven members for apprentice high priestesses whereby I didn't require any experience to be one.  Having had many years of magickal practice behind me, I thought I'd be a very suitable candidate.  Sadly, I had bought into this hierarchical system and yearned for so much more from the coven and saw this as a great opportunity to fill that gap...  But I think that that gap would have still existed no matter what.  I had spent some time trying to unite members by suggesting events and rites which would harmonise the coven but those suggestions weren't really taken on.  I had also seen this hierarchy become tighter and tighter, with one girl assisting the 'inner circle' to organise events to be told that she was 'lucky to be this close to the inner circle' - egos started to form.  The energy of the coven was no longer particularly friendly.  Apparently, as I wasn't permitted to become an apprentice high priestess I could take the first degree course - when I was in my personal second degree already and knew exactly how to set up my own ritual space and write a ritual already - which is mostly what the course consisted of.  This course went (from memory) for about 6-8 weeks and cost about $120.....  Yep, it costed money to 'cover the expense of materials.'  Something which this Irish witch I had posted earlier this year is dead against, as am I.  

I was certainly glad to have left when I did.  People who are there now are being told that they are not 'allowed' to practice magick with anyone outside of the coven and are being discouraged from performing traditional Wicca.  Some of those who have left have been terribly harassed by the "high" priestess to the point where it's becoming ridiculous - and I'd have to say that without having stated her name on here whatsoever I am very happy to share this information freely and to the public.  I've become sick and tired of seeing people within that coven being treated badly and actually feeling surprised that it's happening to them.

The forum post
It seems contradictory to say that we didn’t need to have any experience, yet now I’ve been asked to go through the first degree course.  I realise I had agreed to do the first degree course and why you’re trying to assimilate what you’ve learnt about running a coven into that.  I just feel that if I “didn’t need experience” to become an apprentice high priestess that I would at least be recognised as having had great life experience from my teaching, lecturing and (on & off) 12 years of experience as a Wiccan.  I thought I would be taught as an apprentice rather than via a first degree course, if you know what I mean.   It’s hard for me to reconcile that in my solitary practice I’m now at the 2nd degree and I think I’ve realised that I want to concentrate on just that, because it’s a lot of hard work.

Perhaps I came here for the wrong reasons.  I had been yearning to learn from others, teach others, grow, and have a more intimate experience and I’ve wanted that since the minute I walked into the coven, and that energy has not changed.

I’m not doing this to have a go at anyone, it’s just that I have to comply to a system which I don’t naturally work with and therefore I shouldn’t hang around and contribute an ounce of negativity which works against the family feel of this coven which could throw it out of balance.  My negativity could hence be felt by others and if anyone wants to view that as my ego, I don’t mind.  Some things just don’t work for some people.

I had put up ‘ideas’ on the website to bring our coven closer socially and spiritually because I felt that we were fragmented, and to be frank: we have been kept that way.  They were, also, just ideas too, and were in mind for the betterment of the coven and not necessarily for me to perform. I have always been passionate about making sure that everyone feels equal – I’m wildly passionate about that in fact, and have been all of my life.  Whilst I understand that you can’t just let some stranger immediately into the ‘inner circle’ I come back to my first point: if I didn’t need a great deal of experience to become an apprentice high priestess then why am I being asked to do the first degree course?

If we are to be teaching one another, why can we not allow for a format which encourages that, or am I getting the wrong end of the stick?  Perhaps my expectations are wildly unrealistic and idyllic to the point of ridiculous.  That ideal seems to be what I want, and perhaps that is best achieved as a solitary witch or within a very small coven.

You're all beautiful, marvellous and remarkable people, but I think it's important to emphasise that I don't want to ruin the energy of the group with my negativity and thus am obliged to step back for the sake of others more so than myself as to not ruin the enjoyment, love and light that this coven provides for others.  I would be a coward if I were to just walk away from the coven without saying a word.  I think, too, that this coven suffers because no-one feels that they can be open and honest about the structure and the system which is handed down to them.  By keeping our mouths shut we’re spreading a very strange, restrained energy that I believe works against the magickal energy that the coven is trying to achieve.  I don’t particularly enjoy writing this, but I’m an honest person and I respect honest people.

Love and light.  In perfect love and perfect trust.  May your paths be fecund, bountiful and radiant with the power of the Goddess.  Keep on being creative and powerful darlings.

)O( Elspeth.

Remember to be grateful

Being conscious of what you ought to be grateful for without attachment
I realise that for some people this post won't apply to them - life can be hard and we all go through periods of our lives we'd rather forget.  I feel that for every good piece of fortune that is thrown my way or I have manifested through the Craft ought to have a moment dedicated to its arrival.  That may mean thanking the diety called upon to manifest the support or needs that I had at the time or just being grateful for coincidences which turn your life around.  I feel that I really ought to gather my sisters soon and have a rite especially dedicated to this.  I think that I feel more like this the more that I meditate - my mind is clearer and sharper and I tend to be more grateful about the positive things that happen in my life.  It's too easy to look at the downside of life and accumulate a list of 'if only' statements from one day to the next.

As you will know, I am very fond of Buddhist thought and have learnt a great deal about their concept of attachment.  My attachment to 'if only' thoughts and my attachment to 'I should feel grateful for' thoughts should in no way define who I am, I just feel as though some more conscious thought towards what we ought to be grateful for will provide a better balance for a calm mind & way of being.

Contributing in hard times - more on ethical living and how I'm changing my lifestyle
A very sharp change of subject here, but I am wanting to air these concerns all the same.  At the same time as making sure I am aware of what I ought to be grateful for, I do feel that I have more work to contribute to Gaia by trying to live the most ethical life that a meat eater can possibly live in this day and age.  There is so much information out there to take in!  With every step I am coming closer to living a more biocentric lifestyle rather than one which is anthropocentric.  I have put some extra cash forward to buy some cloth pads from Wise Woman Pads which I've tried and tested, and they wash incredibly well.  They don't make your menstrual flow smell either, it just smells like blood.  They're also the most reasonably priced ones on the market and come in the best patterns.  Whilst the economy is also suffering a major blow - yet again - it's a great time to set aside money especially to support local businesses if you can manage.  The smaller, locally owned organic stores who are more likely to sell ethical, wholesome and natural products ought to be sustained during this time if only for the cosmetics that they sell if you are to buy everything else from the supermarket.  That way we are supporting locally owned businesses and will be helping to keep our local community members employed, selling products which are often hard to find otherwise.  As you know I'm a non-materialistic witch and have been cutting down on buying new candles, props or any oils which are not ethically sourced.  Instead of buying a variety of coloured candles I'm buying Australian made plain beeswax candles which have a beautiful natural smell and feel to them.  If I buy furniture in the near future I aim to buy second hand furniture to avoid cutting down more trees, and have considered buying more second hand clothing to cut down on carbon emissions created from the manufacturing of new clothes - the more second hand, the better in many ways!  Fewer new trees will get cut down and less energy is put towards the product.

Show your gratitude to your deity by thanking them for their support & give Gaia as much of your support as you can for everything that she has ever given you.

Really do check out Wise Woman Pads - Judith does an amazing job.

Blessed Be,
)O( E.