As without, so within

Life lesson # 946: Be careful what promises you make.

At Imbolc last month, I made a promise to Brigid to restart my blog. I’m assuming everyone reading this knows that I’m a Witch and a Druid. You may or may not know that I dedicate my priestesshood to the goddes Brigid. (While I do work with other Gods on the regular, Brigid is the only one I’m dedicated to.)

So I’m here, because while it’s bad to break promises in general, it’s very bad to break them to your Gods. And if I’m honest with myself, this is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a good long time. But in a post-Facebook world, I’ve become increasingly reluctant to open myself up, really open myself up, to criticism. So it’s taken a while to convince myself to get things going.

Brigid is, among other aspects, a goddess of poetry. I might extend that to any creative sort of writing, which can include creative non-fiction like blogs. So in thinking what I might share of myself in Her name, I knew I didn’t want to put up another “Paganism 101” blog. There are more than enough of those, and some of those people even know what they’re talking about.

But I also knew I didn’t want to set myself up as some sort of “elder guru”, either. While it’s true that I’ve been a witch since 1996, and also true that I’m an ordained priestess and elder of coven (which itself is a part of a Wiccan tradition of several covens), I’m no expert at anything. I’m experienced at a great many things, and I am qualified to teach students in my Tradition, but I feel like to start calling yourself an “expert” is to set your knowledge down in stone. It’s saying “I know everything about XYZ, so listen to me!”

I’m never going to say I know everything about anything.

So I meditated on it, and the answer finally presented itself, in a manner of speaking.

The longer I’m pagan, the more envious I become of the “people of the book”. Unlike Christians, I don’t have any scripture to advise me. I have some mythology. There’s poetry out there. There are a few books here or there on the ethics of various pagan paths. There are some leaders I trust, but there are many I do not.

We put a lot of stock in personal development, but we have very little out there to advise. Which I think, given that the modern neopagan movement is starting to grow it’s third generation (at least), is a crying shame. We’re so busy being iconoclasts and charting our own paths that we don’t share the collective wisdom that we have. We can spout “as within so without, as without so within” all the live-long day, but what are we sharing? What are we able to take in?

One personal project I’m undertaking this year is to put together my own prayer book for personal use. A book of days, if you will. We need more of these in the community. We need to life each other up when times get hard. We need to actually build a community, instead of just being individual decorated trees in a forest.