Merry meet and good morning! Today I’d like to share my process for daily devotions and meditations to honor the God and Goddess widely recognized in many Wiccan paths.
Disclaimer: It’s become evident this month that a few folks don’t like my methods or operations. Please remember that no one individual honors their god(s) or goddess(es) in the exact same way. That said, there are certain norms one might expect throughout Wiccan traditions that I am slowly learning about and will try and honor. By the same token, don’t get your undies in a twist simply because I don’t pivot two inches this way or speak the prescribed incantation exactly as you do. Not everyone expresses identical spiritual proclivities. My Mentor has taught me enough to give me breathing room for exploration. I am thankful for that. My practice this month–just as in every other–will grow with time and experience. The journey is the destination, as they say. If you ever think you are done growing, you have that much further to go.
Let’s get started.
Most Wiccans recognize a polarity in the universe of light and darkness, God and Goddess. The central ideal here is balance between the two. Some traditions might honor one above the other (Dianic Wiccans for example place more emphasis on the Goddess), however the other “face” of the divine is still recognized in most cases.
My practice, Fey Wicca honors the God and the Goddess as well as the Fey with whom we share this world. The ritual is simple yet meaningful for me, however will adapt and grow as I learn more over the month. The following images provide a glimpse into how I honor the God and Goddess and pay my respects to the Fey.
1) A simple hello. Here, I approach the altar in a white shirt, linen pants, and a simple robe set aside only for worship, ritual, and meditation for the God and Goddess. I make a simple supplication, announcing my intention to honor the God and Goddess. This bears great personal meaning, as I am basically reintroducing myself each time I approach the altar, because as I grow, I am ever changing.
2) When meeting the divine or fellow humans, a gift or offering is always appropriate. Today I decided on a few red grapes. In many traditions wine is usually poured into the chalice (notice the glass at the top left). I’m currently a little dry, so I figured the fruit of the vine would do the job. I go from left to right while placing the offering, as the Goddess and her represented elements (earth and water) occupy the left side of the altar, and the God with his elements (air and fire) occupy the right. Ladies first! It should be noted that tradition dictates in most cases that one’s altar should face north.
3) Casting the circle. The circle is a specific, sacred space where ritual takes place. Note that circles are cast for specific rituals, but not simple daily devotions, so I won’t do this every day. In most cases, a circle is cast or “cut” with the athame. Different traditions have different incantations they might recite when performing this operation. I simply state my intention with the following statement as I cast the circle: “I hereby consecrate this space as a place of worship to honor the God and the Goddess.” I’m sure there are other things I could say, and encourage you to share your own in the comment section! The circle is closed at the end of the ritual by reversing the direction it was “cut.”
4) Let there be light! After casting the circle, I light four candles on the altar: First, I light a candle for the Goddess (ladies first!), next I light one for the God, next I light a candle for the element of fire, and finally I light a candle at the top point of the pentagram which represents spirit. Again, this is a process I’ve adopted with the freedom of exploration given me by my Mentor. Techniques are likely to adapt over time. I’d love to hear about yours!
Special note: In many traditions within Wicca, a wand (you can see mine, a corkscrew willow branch, in the picture above, right next to my hand) may be used to invoke the guardian spirits of the four directions (sometimes there are six or even eight) for protection or watch over the ritual. I’m not yet comfortable with this invocation, so until I receive more guidance (from you and my Mentor), I simply face each direction with my head bowed and hands held out, acknowledging the spirits and beings of that direction.
5) Incense is a near-universal tool for worship across many traditions. Within Wicca, incense can be used as an offering or represent the element of air. It’s ribbons of smoke may also represent our prayers and meditations rising to the ether. What does it mean for you? How do you use incense in your ritual? Here, I use incense as both an offering and to remind me that our prayers and meditations emanate from our consciousness and flow into our world.
6) Meditation. My Mentor’s first lesson this month was meditation. I figured, “I’ve got that down from my other months!” but remember, every faith and tradition has something to teach us. We never stop growing. Turns out, I had work to do. My Mentor asked me to envision the energy of my body–of every cell and atom–flowing through me. This was foreign because in all my other meditations, I usually focused on something outside of myself or simply erased myself all together. Perhaps that comes later, but she wanted me to understand that much of Wicca is about recognizing the energies in the universe, both light and dark, and that we have the power to participate and even bend those energies. The first lesson though, is becoming familiar with and mastering one’s own energy. Here I sit with a simple cloak–not to look or feel mysterious–but to create that space within a space where focus is increased. To illustrate the balance between light and dark energy, I typically meditate in the dark with only light from the candles on the altar.
At the ritual’s conclusion, it is proper to thank the spirits, the God, and the Goddess for their time and blessings.
That’s my ritual practice at the altar. Again, it might not be identical to yours, but this is the place to share our experiences, not argue over whose is better. My impression of Wicca in general thus far is two-fold: 1) It’s about honoring the God and Goddess as the balance of polarity–the light and dark–of our universe, and honestly, I believe they care more about our sincerity than our form. 2) Understanding that we have the power to bend these energies and therefore the universe in our environment. The energy that flows through us is identical to the energy of the sun and the deepest, darkest corners of space. If we can master our own energy, anything is possible.
What is your ritual and meditation like?