Hey everyone! I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile now, and the house is quiet and my boy is sleeping, so it’s prime time to blog! As I think I’ve told you before I’m not really a flag-waving Wiccan, so I don’t often find myself in actual religious discussions with people in person, but I do often imagine what I would talk about if I did find myself needing to explain my religion, or even defend it. And that got me thinking about how the foundations of my religion apply to motherhood itself. This is going to be a blog mini-series, the 13 principles, and the Wiccan Rede, and how how they apply to motherhood. Since the 13 principles are so long, I’m going to split this post into 3, 1-4, 5-8, and 9-13, then cover the Rede in one or two posts.
1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters. Well, obviously as a Wiccan I was drawn to this particular part of the religion, the deep spiritual connection with the earth, the changing of the seasons, the rhythm of life itself, but it is a big part of being a mother too. The seasons affect the activities you do with your child, how much exposure your child gets to the earth early on in life, and it affects everyone’s moods too, when winter sets in and going out of door isn’t always possible. I also find that it affects my moods too, the moon and my menstrual cycles, my hormones, and whether or not I’ve been able to get out much and recharge my batteries. My son was born in November, and as a result I didn’t get to start taking him outside much for the first time until he was about 6 months old, and we had a very mild summer last year, with a lot of rain, so it affected the amount we got outside too. And this autumn and winter were especially wet. He didn’t get to start going out much until about 2 months ago, and then he hated the feel of grass on his bare feet and hands, and he’s only just started to get comfortable with that feeling now. I think it would have been different if he had been born in the spring or summer, he would have spent more time outside early on, and I think have been more accustomed to all that. It’s been my goal as of late to make sure he gets out much more, and gets comfortable being outside, feeling the wind on his face (that was another thing that kind of freaked him out a bit at first) and being out even in the rain (with a rain coat and boots of course) and the sun, and really *feeling* the wonders of the outdoors.
2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept. This is a big one for me, taking responsibility for our own actions. And I’m going to focus specifically on personal responsibility, though I know it also applies to taking responsibility for our ecological choices too. It frustrates me a lot when I see people do rude, mean, or judgmental things, all in the name of God, but then refuse to take responsibility for the damage those actions can cause other people. And even worse than that, when you watch reality tv, and you see people distraught by the consequences of their own actions, or the actions of others, they say they’re in God hands now, and only He can help them and carry them through, and I think that that is utterly ridiculous. Your actions are YOURS. God gave you a brain so you could USE IT, but he also gave us a brain so that we could LEARN. So, a head’s up: if you say or do something that offends someone, ask for forgiveness from God like you usually do, but you also need to apologize and deal with the real HUMAN consequences of your actions, even if you will no longer have to deal with any cosmic consequences. Pray to God for extra strength when you need it, but know that you already have it within you to start with, and you just need to dig deep enough to draw on it. Wiccans take responsibility for what they say and do, and they know that it’s great when the God and Goddess give you a bit of help, but we never depend on them to carry us through our lives – the power to do that comes from inside us already. That is something I hope to teach my son, not just through “you won’t do that again, will ya?’s” and other similar learning experiences, but also about how to not shy away from telling the truth about what he’s done and said, and owning up to it, and dealing with it once it’s happened.
3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural”, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all. Mostly with this one, I just want to teach my son (and heck, even myself too!) to try to open myself up to the feel of the energies and spirits around me, to pay attention to it, and accept it and continue to move through it and in it, especially if those energies are not directed at us. I want to teach him to be accepting of that which can’t be explained, and to see it as just part of this world and how things works, instead of trying to label it, or being afraid of it.
4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity-as masculine and feminine-and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither (gender) above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship. This is a HUGE one for me, not valuing one gender over the other, recognizing the differences between the genders, and seeing those as BEAUTIFUL, not stupid, and definitely not placing more importance on some traits over the others. I also want to teach him that sex is a beautiful thing – if done under the right circumstances, and like all wonderful things that it can have the potential to cause harm, both physical and emotional, if done for the wrong reasons. I want to teach him respect for his fellow man and women, and respect for sex as an act to show you really care for someone, and not just because you’re horny. Even if Andrew grows up to not like or feel connected to Wicca or Paganism, I do want him to at least take those two things away from his experience and hold those as values – equality for the sexes, and a respect for the act of sexual intercourse.
That’s it for part 1 of 3 with the 13 Principles. Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions, I’m always game! Blessed be!