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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Some thoughts from my
WebTree tradition path - updated

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E1318600362

Moon phases and sabbats on a rainy night

I was watching the rain and the sunset from my patio. There is a hummingbird that doesn't particularly like me being there, but he tolerates me because I top off the feeders. I make the time to think about the wheel of the year.

Like most of the WebTree tradition path, these are things that I didn't read and adopt. These are bits and pieces that I have experimented with over the years. Some came from study, some came from intuition, some came from logic.

These aren't hard and fast rules, they do change occasionally according to circumstance. I've never been one to follow exact rules when it comes to matters of faith and worship.

Generally, I use the moon cycles to honor the magick, and the sabbats to honor the gods.

I use the old way of timing the moon. the full moon and the dark moon both last three days. This also gives me some flexibility for ritual, either in the timing towards a night I that I can do it right, or three nights in reinforcing a spell.

I break the sabbats into the High Holidays Fire Festivals and the Solar Festivals. Some of the ancients used to begin their holidays celebrations on the night before. So I observe the High Holidays Fire Festivals from sunset to sunset. But the equinoxes and solstices are undeniably solar, so it works better for me to observe those from sunrise to sunrise.

Mike Nichols does a great bit on the eight sabbats and the reasons behind them, I do agree with his reasoning. But the difference between a revealed faith and an experienced faith is that the rules aren't something you can be told, you have to live them for yourself.

This is something that I am not sure I can explain, but a harvest sabbat seems like a good place (time?) to try.

Way back when before humans started writing things down, matters of faith were broken into two parts. The Outer Mysteries, the forms of the rituals, the introducing of the supplicant to the gods, these were the things that everyone was expected to do. This was the "going through the motions," the revealed part of faith.

The Inner Mysteries, those were reserved for the priests and priestesses, the intermediaries between the gods and this world. This was the point where the worshipper moved through the forms to what lay on the other side. This was the Ordeal, the Fool Stepping into the Abyss, the Binding and Loosening, or any of a thousand other descriptions that don't quite describe it.

The Outer Mysteries give the forms, but the Inner reveal the reasons for the forms.

It is the difference between the Story and the Journey. One is told while the other is lived. The only two purposes of the story are to honor the memory of those who have gone before and to teach you to recognize where the path begins for your own journey. The rituals are not the faith. The map is not the territory. The words are not the thing. You can only be responsible for your journey alone because it is your journey and no one else’s.

At least one pagan writer distinguishes between small "i" initiation granted by humans and capital "I" initiation granted solely by the gods. I do think there is something to that. Some covens and groups hold that self-initiations are really only dedications. I don't quite buy into that (somebody had to be initiated first), but I will agree that most so-called initiations these days aren't much more than a fashionable fad. Talk to me in five years, if they are still a practicing pagan, then the "initiation" took.

No matter what your faith, it's not enough to read and just go through the motions. You have to become your faith. And no, that doesn't mean converting other people. If you do not express your faith in your own life, putting butts in pews isn't enough.

I wish you the courage to take the next step.

Posted: Sun - July 31, 2005 at 09:21 PM

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