Month: August 2016

Forging A New Path

My early tentative steps away from Christianity led me to an oasis of endless spiritual possibilites: Druidry, Buddhism, Native American, Shintoism, Heathenry, Goddess worship, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Germanic, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Gnosticism, the list goes on. But the initial excitement of researching and trying to find ‘the one spirituality’ for me  quickly deteriorated into disappointment when I realised that the same pattern was emerging. Just like Christianity I was not resonating wholly with any faith that I was studying.

I came across the term Eclectic Paganism early on in my research and it didn’t sit well with me. In my eyes it was the cheat’s guide to finding your own faith. Just ‘pick and mix’ all the bits that you like of every spirituality or faith that take your fancy and then discard the rest that doesn’t. I was so used to following just one religion whether I agreed with it all or not that to suddenly come across a belief system that could be tailored to soley suit all my needs felt wrong on so many levels. It lacked committment, it lacked thoughtfulness and it definitely lacked substance. Chocolate and sweets  could no way substitute manna from heaven. For me, spirituality was more than just a quick sugar fix. It was the slow burn of carbohydrates.

Ever since watching the Scottish historian Neil Oliver take an ancestry DNA test on his television series, ‘The History of Ancient Britian’, in 2011, I have wanted to find out for myself where I come from. Back then it would have taken a very expensive blood test to find out, but now thanks to Ancestry, a simple saliva test at a more reasonable price can make the same amazing discovery. The need to do this grew with my confusion of not being able to identify with any one particular spirituality. I believed that with these test results I would finally be able to follow the spiritual path of my ancestors. This was the path to take and would solve my dilemma once and for all. I would have clarity at last.

When the results came back I was shocked to say the least. There in front of me was clarity, but not in the sense that I was expecting. I was 35% Italian/Greek (did this explain my love of Roman Mythology and my connection with the Goddess Diana?) 21% Irish (did this have anything to do with my love of Celtic myths and legends and my deep desire to explore Scotland and Ireland?) 18% Scandinavian ( was this the reason why I have an affinity with the runes and since childhood wanting to visit the fjords?)

I eventually arrived at the conclusion that eclecticism, when it comes to spirituality, is not a dirty word. The Greeks, Romans and early Christians are fine examples of eclecticism. It is something to embrace and honour, just like we are able to embrace and honour our ancestors that have gone before us. Those strong unwielding souls who survived plagues, famines and wars.

So not only should we not feel ashamed or guilty about incorporating different faiths into our spiritual practice in tandem with our ancestral roots, but also lest we forget, we have been on this Earth many life times before as Native Americans perhaps or Aboriginies or Eygptians, so honouring a part of these paths is a reflection of who we are, both in our physical body and our soul.

We are all related to one another on this Earth and as long as we are respectful of how we practice our spirituality and understand the history behind what we do and the reasons why we do it, then we need to let go of the guilt. So if you want to practice Shintoism and you were born in Sweden then don’t let anyone tell you, ‘You can’t because you are not Japanese’.

For now on my ever evolving spiritual adventure I incorporate Ancient Roman, Celtic and Stone Age celebrations into my practice, rune magick and The Nine Noble Truths, Totemism and the Medicine Wheel, as well as aspects of Druidry to name but a few things I do.  These I am sure will change and grow over time.

And what about yourself? What excites and inspires you about different faiths and spiritualities?

Brightest Blessings

Hazel

xxx

Shadows and Sunbeams

I am finally writing my very first blog post. It has taken me a long while to pluck up the courage to do this, as ever since I have joined the online pagan community I have believed that no one would be faintly interested in hearing what my voice had to say.

I am no pagan or occult expert; I possess no witchy credentials or have astral travel mileage behind me. I don’t even own a single animal skull. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did buy a plastic crow skeleton last Samhain and he has sat magestically on my bookshelf ever since.

I am just little old me. A girl who has found herself on a crazy exciting path of spiritual discovery who wants to get back to her bare roots so she can heal herself and others too who wish to come along for the ride. I want to find my home, my tribe.

As a child being brought up a strict Christian, it was easy to feel part of a family, a part of something much larger than myself and I didn’t question a thing that I was being told. Every Sunday and every Day of Obligation I dutifuly turned up to celebrate with others like me, year in year out.

But I gradually became aware of a dawning realisation. I wasn’t like everyone else. I didn’t feel or believe everything that they believed. It wasn’t a one religion fits all scenario. I was going through the motions, but I felt numb inside. What had happened to my connection to God and the Virgin Mary? Did this connection even exist to begin with? Perhaps I had always been blindsided by the pomp and ceremony to even realise that it was never there in the first place.

I didn’t want to be here anymore. I wasn’t here for me. I was here for others. Even God didn’t want to be here.

The day I told my family I wasn’t going to church anymore is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Seven years later it’s all water under the bridge. They have accepted it because they love me, but they don’t like it. They believe that I am still a Christian abeit one that no longer practices and I will never tell them otherwise. It would hurt them too much. Of course this makes me sad that I am unable to share my new spiritual path with them, but I do my best not to dwell on it. I am blessed, however, to have a wonderful husband and children who are as open minded and free spirited as I am. They are also walking their own unique paths in this life, discovering awe and wonder in the world around them and I am proud and excited to be a part of it.

Walking away from Christainity was simple enough, but it was filling the void that was left behind that was the hardest part. I do not use the word “quest” lightly. I was definitely on a quest now.

Soon after I had to move from the city to the countryside, due to unforeseen circumstances, a floodgate inside of me gushed open. An awakening occurred that was somehow miraculously triggered by my new environment. With no light pollution I could see the moon and the stars in high definition, even the international space station zipping over my head. While my hands were in the earth, buzzards and swallows called from nearby. The Divine was here, but nothing like I had experienced before, except only as a child. Childhood memories came rushing back; faeries, spirits……magick.

There was something here more ancient than Christianity, even more ancient than time itself and I craved it. I needed to know what it was, what it was called. So I read and researched, watched videos and researched, absorbing as much as I mentally could. I was like Neo and I was plugged in.

This thing that I had found had a name; paganism. She had a name; the Goddess, but there was more than just one Goddess and there was more than just one God. They all had their own unique personalities and voices and they all had something to say.

I began to feel that I was almost there, but not quite. I needed to put a name to what I was. What was I? Where did I belong? Perhaps I was an Essene, a gnostic? Not quite. A Druid? Yes, there was much I resonated with, but not quite. A Heathen? Yes, oh yes this was it, yet not quite. So weeks turned into months and months have turned into years and I have slowly come to the conclusion that I don’t need a label to define what I am, who I am. I am just me, someone who believes what I believe and these beliefs are ever evolving, ever changing, just like life itself and I am at peace with that. My path, my truth my choice.

I am not the same person I was seven years ago, not even the same person I was six months ago. My journey is changing who I am and it is for the better.

I just wanted to share a little part of me and if you have stayed to the end of this post then I am truly grateful that you have taken the time to listen to what I have had to say. If I have touched or inspired just one person to break free and find the courage to go on their own quest then I am happy.

My aim for this blog is to share my spiritual journey with you and for you to share yours with me, as well as talk about my creative projects, my search for ancestral wisdom and my goal of living a healthy, natural and simple life.  And I would feel honoured for you to join me.

 

Brightest Blessings

Hazel

xxx

 

 

 

 

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