It's the New Moon again. I am determined to Meet at the Water (who's in?) tonight and offer up some healing (and maybe get some in return), but the truth is that this week has hit me like a few ton of bricks and when I realized this morning that there were three fairly important things I had meant to do this week and NONE of them got accomplished, I'll be honest when I said, "Unnnnhhhhh....PLUS the New Moon. Greeaaat."
I'm having a hard time putting into words what I mean. (I've erased the following paragraph at least fifteen times. Frankly, I'm not sure that you'll actually get to read any of what I'm about to write right now. And now I'm having some kind of weird, existential blog crisis. EXCELLENT.) But it occurs to me that times like this is when it would be outstanding to have a congregation. Coven. Circle? It would be outstanding to have a group of people who worship in a way vaguely related to the way I worship so that somebody could call me up and say, "Hey, are you Meeting Us at the Water tonight? Connie filled her birdbath and is making spaghetti." And I'd be all, "Yeah, we are SO there. I'll bring a pie."
I'm going to use the word "congregation" here, so nobody freak out. Feel free to substitute whatever word for "a group of people who worship in the same way" floats your boat.
Anyway, a congregation acts as a reminder--a living, breathing, able to be touched reminder--that we are all connected by one purpose. That there are days of the year that are sacred and to be honored. That there are rituals that are important.
One thing I've noticed during the last year that I've been functioning as a Pagan online is that there is a...looseness in Paganism. And at first, I really loved that. I would fret about missing a Sabbat or solstice or phase of the Moon and people would say, "It's okay. The goddesses and gods understand." And any guilt or concern I had would float away. I mean, it didn't really MATTER to Mother Nature if I forgot it was the Full Moon, right? She had plenty of other folks to deal with.
But now, that looseness seems...reckless? Dangerous? No, not that. (Hi. I'm thinking out loud. Bear with me.) It feels wrong to poopoo the gentle understanding I've gotten from so many of you. That love and kindness is one of the reasons that I've grown deeper in my faith. But it feels, now, that the vagueness is...disrespectful.
Yeah. I'm gonna go with that.
If I believe that Mother Nature and the Elements and the Moon and Sun take care of me, shouldn't I honor that steadfastly? If I believe that those entities not only give me life and a home, but also a spirit with which to connect to them, shouldn't I set aside days to really THANK them for that existence?
I mean, I try to live that way. Recycling and trying to exercise more and be outside more and gardening...heck, even COOKING...are ways in which I connect to that which I feel called to honor spiritually. But...is that enough?
Perhaps one of the reasons why the Judeo-Christian religions flourish is because from the beginning, they relied on big wads of people getting their prayer on en masse. They had specific times in which to get their prayer on--special days, festivals, rituals.
There is comfort in being part of a spiritual group. I remember the Christian congregations I communed with long ago very clearly. I might have spent my time during the sermons rolling my eyes and feeling stifled, but I loved the big meals in the fellowship hall. I loved getting hugs after the service and playing with the kids in the parking lot and gossiping with the old ladies about the other old ladies during picnics.
There is also safety. Maybe one of the reasons it's so difficult to come out of the broom closet is that there are so few of us in some areas that doing so is dangerous, even if it's only in a social way. How much easier would it be to come on out and say, "I'm a witch" if you could do so revival-style, in front of a crowd of people who would congratulate you and hug you and tell you how happy they were for you?
Now, I'm not knocking my internet congregation. When I say I love you, I mean it. But I wish I could SEE you and give you squeezes and look into your faces tonight instead of clacking away on my keyboard tomorrow and reading about your experiences. It's lovely to read them. It makes me smile to do so. But I want to smile WITH YOU.
Sigh. I think that part of this is that I just feel so...disconnected from the people around here in general. They are mostly good folks, but while we're all excited about the big fair that starts tomorrow and the cooler weather and football season, few of them are feeling the spiritual rush I get from this time of year. (Or if they are, they're staying mum about it.) I'd love to take a walk in the woods with somebody who FEELS this time of year the way I do. Or sit up late talking with her. Or sit quietly by a pond and commune with Mother Nature with her.
Am I the only solitary who feels like this? Any members of a congregation have any advice for times like this?
Hope you all have good days. Meet you at the Water tonight...