It’s 10 o’clock on Sunday, the husband has safely made to his destination thousands of miles away for the next few months, the kids are tucked into bed and what am I doing? Why, catching up on my blogging of course! So here we go…FINALLY starting on Module 3.
1. When I was a child, I did learn and recite prayers. Did I have to? Hhmm, yes and no. It didn’t feel like at the time that I “had to”; it was more of a fun thing to do with my parents and made me feel grown-up in a sense to recite them with the adults at church. Of course, I learned the “Our Father”, “Hail Mary”, “Glory Be to the Father” and the “Apostles’ Creed”, the “Nicene Creed” and of course the corresponding Mysteries (i.e. the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, etc.). I only remember the first three. I also remember the Grace my Dad taught us to recite before every meal. They really don’t hold the same meaning to me now as they did when I was a kid or young teenager. I am partial to the “Hail Mary” if I had to choose one of them. Well, also Grace before meals, but I want to tweak that one and incorporate that into my own practice and share with my kiddies.
2. Books that have been influential on my spiritual path…The first one would be Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner“. Another one would be “When, Why…If” by Robin Wood. This was an awesome workbook dealing with ethics. It was a quick and easy read and one that you could work through over and over again, journaling as you go, seeing how you’ve changed from year to year. Along the lines of ethics, “An’ Ye Harm None” by Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch and Meredith Macdonald. This book isn’t so much as a “how to” guideline type book, but actually teaches you and makes you think and reason. It makes you stop and look at how you do things and the impact your actions have. I got in a bit of a spiritual rut a several years back and found “The Second Circle: Tools for the Advancing Pagan” by Venecia Rauls quite refreshing and stimulating. “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess: Everyday Rituals to Transform Your World” by Barbara Ardinger was also another quick and easy read that helped me out of my rut.
I loved Dianne Sylvane’s book “The Body Sacred“. This book helped me immensely after the births of my two babies to appreciate my body, even though it had changed so much and I looked upon it as “ruined”. Carol P. Christ’s book, “Rebirth of the Goddess” made me view the Goddess and the role of women in a whole new and different light (as can be viewed in this conversation between E.C. Erdmann and Carol P. Christ – which heavily influenced or brought out my Dianic nature). “Descent to the Goddess” by Sylvia Brinton Perera was just all kinds of awesomeness that really helped me understand and come to know the Dark Goddess a little better and come to know myself a lot better as can be read in my post “Archetypes – Ascending From the Shadow“. Most recently, I’ve started reading “The Solitary Druid” by Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison. I’m about half way through it and it has given me a better understanding hard polytheism vs my softer polytheistic outlook.
3. With a lot of these books, I was quite new to Wicca and Paganism, especially Cunningham’s “Wicca” (come on, isn’t this everyone’s first book?). “When, Why…If” was kind of a mandatory reading for the coven I was in 5 years ago and an eye opener. “An’ Ye Harm None” was a further look at ethics that I really enjoyed – another eye opener. “The Second Circle” and “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess” got me out of my rut because they helped me to find the magic in the mundane and everyday life vs only finding magic in a coven setting. Actually, “The Second Circle” got me interested in exploring a Druid now that I think about it. “Rebirth of the Goddess” was a long read that made me question my reading comprehension abilities, LoL! There were some pages, even paragraphs that I had to read over and over again, but well worth it! It opened my eyes as to how universal the Goddess is and how She makes Her presence known throughout the different parts of the world. “Descent to the Goddess” helped me understand my Dark Self and Shadow. “The Solitary Druid” I’m trying to balance with “A Dance with Dragons” and seems to be a quick and easily comprehensible read. I really don’t use or adhere to the Wiccan principles anymore. I kind feel like I already know them, yeah, they served their purpose, but I’ve outgrown Wicca – a long time ago actually and that’s how I got into my rut back in like 2009. I still use the ethic and principles in my everyday life and conscious decisions I make and obviously hold the Goddess in all of Her forms and guises in very high regard. She is VERY high up there on my hierarchy of priorities if you will. As for “The Body Sacred”, I’m still working on fully appreciating my (well not so new body now) changed body and accepting those changes. I’m a lot better with it than I was say 2 years ago – so applying those principles is still a work in progress…
4. I haven’t done any hard-core research on these authors. I do know that Carol P. Christ started out as a Christian pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Yale and later went on to become one of the strongest leaders of the feminist spirituality movement. I do follow the Feminism and Religion blog on WordPress, so I have the pleasure of reading posts from Carol P. Christ and Barbara Ardinger. As Dianne Sylvane has explained in this course, she also started out Christian, practiced Wicca but no longer considers herself Wiccan, as her beliefs and practices have changed and evolved into a more eclectic spiritual practice I’d say. I also live close enough to the ADF Muin Mound Grove in Syracuse to attend High Day celebrations and chat with Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison, but I haven’t sat down with him and interviewed him about his life’s story or path.