Monthly Archives: July 2018

Rites of Passage

It is wedding season, and one thing I LOVE about being ordained is performing handfasting (Pagan wedding) ceremonies. I don’t have the opportunity to perform them as often as I would like, yet this month I have been invited to perform two of them. Hooray!

age-cycle-womanThe first one was this past weekend, in the beautiful city of Kelowna in the interior of BC. My family took the weekend for a family trip, and visited my husband’s mother, and connect with a student of mine for an initiation. The next one is next week, near the beach on the Island. I’m looking forward to that one as well.

Marriage is a rite of passage, a celebration of the love between two people. The ceremony acknowledges that love, and shifts the relationship, affirming the commitment of the couple to each other, surrounded and witnessed by loved ones.

Because of one rite of passage, I missed another. The celebration of life for my friend Shelby, who crossed over several weeks ago, was also this weekend. That rite of passage was more for the people left behind than for Shelby.

We underestimate the importance of these rites of passage. Rites of passage change the participant, and mark a shift from one stage of life to the next. Marriage and death are obvious shifts. There are other moments in our lives that ought to be celebrated – birth, becoming an adult, achieving a big goal, separation from a partner, becoming a crone or sage… anything that feels significant.

Our society marks some of these moments – bachelor or bachelorette parties; baby showers; graduations; funerals. The goals, and endings (whether jobs or relationships), and aging – those we often let pass without recognition. And when we let them pass, we soon forget the importance of the lesson, or the things we went through to get where we are.

So mark those moments, as I did with my tattoo. I’m not saying you ought to get a tattoo at each of these points! Do *something* to acknowledge the moment. Go out for a nice meal. Light a candle and make an offering to the God or Goddess you feel most connected with. Throw a party. Make the moment special.

What moment would you like to recognize with a rite of passage?

Blessings,

Mary

When one is committed…

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this quote before, because I love it:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

– William Hutchison Murray

I have wanted to be a priestess ever since I read The Mists of Avalon in high school (thanks, Bill and Cole). Reading about Morgaine, and the House of Maidens, I wanted to go there. I even went to Glastonbury when I went to England in university. And yes, I *did* get up before dawn on Beltaine morning and climbed the Tor. Sadly, I did not cross through the mists. 🙁

Fast forward many years, and I am now a priestess. I’ve gone to school and received an Associate Degree in Wiccan Ministry. And I’ve been thinking about getting a priestess moon tattoo on my forehead. It’s a big step. There’s no hiding a facial tattoo. (I know, I know. Makeup. Bangs. There are totally ways to hide a tattoo on your forehead. Go with me here.)

So I’ve thought about it quite a bit. I would want it to mark a significant moment. Or maybe I ought to wait until I can retire. But that’s likely to be a long time off. I thought about getting it when I received my 3rd degree initiation. I wasn’t quite ready then. Like I said, it’s a big step.

A few weeks ago, I helped my friend Shelby cross over. Afterwards, I felt it was finally time, that I had earned it. The next question was when to actually do it. For such an important rite of passage, I didn’t want to just do it “next Tuesday”. I reached out to a friend of mine who is an astrologer over at Hestia’s Muse. Wendy gave me some great guidance, and I booked my appointment with Grey Owl Tattoo.

I asked three of my priestess friends to join me to support me through the process. Thankfully, Jenny at Grey Owl is quite spiritual, and was super accommodating with my request to make it a ritual. It probably helped that Cece put in a good word! They chanted to raise the energy, and I meditated and prayed my devotion to Goddess. Dawne even sang a song she wrote. It was powerful and moving and I felt so honored to be surrounded by powerful women. I’m so happy I got my moon tattoo. It’s empowering, and it feels so right for me. I know it’s not for everyone, though it is right for me. It was definitely a rite of passage that I am grateful I went through. I am committed to my path, and I look forward to Providence moving.

Blessings,
Mary

Patriotism Week

All week I was super excited to share with you about a rite of passage I went through last week. I even started writing the post. And then, I attended the Canada Day festivities…

flags Canada USIt was a lovely day! Vendors, food, live music, all the weather (seriously – it was cool and overcast in the morning, then hot, then rain, then wind, then sun and wind), and, of course, fireworks to end the night.

I had a booth, and we did pretty well. It was lovely to see my community gathered in celebration.

Then I started thinking, here we are celebrating our nation, and there are people who can’t celebrate. People who are locked in cages for trying to escape the atrocities at home. People who have been separated from their families. People who had their homes stolen from them. People who fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.

And it is hard to feel patriotic knowing that the leaders of your own country are doing these things. This isn’t some history book, or a nation half way around the globe that you can pretend it isn’t happening. This is here. At home. In countries that are supposed to hold freedom as their highest values.

Yes, you read that right. Countries. Canada is not immune to prejudice and atrocity. We are a country that stole land from the First Nations people, not unlike our cousins to the south. We ripped First Nations children away from their families and sent them to residential schools, abused them, and didn’t let them see their parents or speak their language. And before you say, “But Mary, that’s in the past. The government has apologized!” The majority of children in foster care in Canada are First Nations. We may not be locking them away in residential schools any longer, but we are still taking children away from their families.

I read stories every day about the suffering that we inflict on others because of our differences, and I feel so small and insignificant. What can I do that will make any significant difference?

Then I remember that I am not alone. I don’t have to change the world all by myself. However, I can’t do nothing. Doing nothing empowers the hatred. I can make a difference with small actions. I can be kind to everyone. I can reach out and support people in my own community. I can honor the land, and the people who were here before me (there are three First Nations bands in my city). I can speak out in support of diversity. I can talk to my local representatives and request that they take action. I can support those on the front lines who are doing the even tougher work.

Keep acting. Keep loving. Keep raising the vibration. Remember, we are all one, and THAT is something to celebrate!

Blessings,

Mary