In Modern Witchcraft, we focus our endeavors heavily here in this middle world of flesh, bone and stone. We live jubilantly here on Earth, knowing that in the world of Spirit, we’ve won first prize when granted a body to inhabit for a time. We glory in all five delicious senses, but we don’t forget where we came from, or where we are going. Witches are walkers between the worlds of heavens, earth and underworld, denying no part of our inherent divinity. All hungry, lusty and transcendent, our magick works the Will into the meeting of our needs–whether that need be for a lover, the right job to pay the mortgage, or a cosmic-egg-cracking, bush-burning, Divine conversation of apocalyptic proportions–in witchcraft, that is
OK. Strike that…in witchcraft it is a requirement.
In The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Vol. 1: The Descent of the Goddess, Christopher Penczak writes: “Mastering our needs in the physical world is a key component to the witch’s expansion into deeper levels of consciousness…much of the western world has been brainwashed to believe that taking care of your physical and emotional needs, your base needs, is not spiritual. We have been brainwashed by the dominant institutions to think that renouncement and denial are the spiritual roads, while indulgence and exploration are not. For a witch, nothing could be further from the truth.” Page 52.
Witches accept all our many-layered selves. Our Craft nurtures and balances our spiritual, mental, emotional AND physical selves, to empower our Divine Will. You see, that alignment through all the selves creates this open channel connecting the highest heavens to the deepest roots. The Witch becomes the conduit of tremendous cosmic power, and the vessel of our bodies is going to need to be in tip-top physical state to handle it, so by all means, pamper yourself. Not to mention the Charge of the Goddess invites us to worship by drinking “the good wine to the Old Gods,” dancing, making love and being merry. In short, the point of incarnation is to thrive and enjoy ourselves as an act of Divine Love.
We even embrace what we call the shadow-self–what the dominant religions have long demonized as cardinal sins. The path of the witch demands that we open the closet door and invite all the skeletons of fear and forbidden desire to come right out into the temple and play. We name them, indulge some, transmute others, but we face it all down until we come to love exactly who we are, warts and all. We own our shit, and then deal with it. It is through this process that we throw off the bonds of slavery imposed by denial and shame, and claim our personal sovereignty. I believe that it is the repression of these shadowy things that is an aberration of nature, which is how I define “sin.” Repressing nature is a root of “evil,” in the world.
We delivered this lesson in one of our coven’s introductory classes a few weeks ago as we began working with elemental energies. That night, inspiration struck my friend JoyLeaf, the Maiden in our coven who was raised as a Lutheran, and has a Baptist minister father. She and I both know too well about the “brainwashing by the dominant institutions.” She wrote a blog on just this subject and has allowed me to publish it here.
Be of the World! It’s the best part of Witchcraft. 😉
Child of the Soil and Storm
by JoyleafYou know that commonly touted phrase “Be in the world and not of it?” It comes from biblical teachings like these:
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
I have beef with that.
I personally believe that we are all fragments of the same divine consciousness and when we die we will be reunited with that conscious. Like a stew-pot of Divine Love and we are the potato…or the carrot, or whatever. Death is a way-station where we pull out our map and decide what road we take for the next journey, and many more metaphors besides. Enlightened masters, prophets, and really smart people give messages about what divinity is, and what divine love looks like and how we can better model it.
I don’t get it though…Why would we go to school to learn something we are already experts in? We already know what divine love is. We’ve always known it, as we know who and what we are to the core of our being. The way I see it, we are here to learn human love: messy love, romantic love, platonic love, parental love. The kind of love that makes your chest hurt and smile wide and your breath wonky. The kind that you feel viscerally all the way from your curling toes to the fingertips and beyond. The whole point is to be of the world. That’s where the lessons are, dammit.
If you glide through life like a ghost, not allowing anything to touch you, then whats the point? Have you learned anything new, or did you spend your entire time waiting by the door wailing for Mommy to come get you from school? You’ve got to make friends and make connections and understand through play. You are just gonna wear yourself out by crying and refusing to share juice with Jimmy. And when you go home finally at the end of the day, Mommy and Daddy are gonna tell you to share juice with Jimmy because sharing is an important lesson and Jimmy is a precious child too.
That metaphor got a little heavy handed but you get where I am coming from.
You are a child of the storm and sea and earthly soil. Revel in that. Dance barefoot amongst the trees with giddy laughter. Drink deep from the cups that are offered. Let joy and wonderment pound through your veins and I promise you, that you will know God. And Goddess. Be wild. It’s okay, that’s why we are here.
Then, when we are tired, sore from our wanderings and lessons and lunch-time escapades, we will trundle over to our parents car, and go home. They are always happy to see us, feed us and help us get ready for the next day. There’s no need to be separate from the world, to hold ourselves aloft. It does more damage than good in the end, you know?
Won’t you join me under the trees? I know all of the nicest spots. Just between you and me, my friends have the best refreshments.