Guest Author - Fiona Blackwolf
The turning of the calendar year brings a sense of freshness and new beginnings. It can be a good time to make a commitment to your spiritual development. There are several ways that you can re-dedicate yourself to your path.
The New Year brings more books to read and more classes to attend. How about making a decision to learn something new about the craft? Study one herb or one stone per month. Learn a new form of Divination such as runes or tarot. ( The Bella Online Tarot Site has some wonderful resources if you are interested in learning about tarot.) Study some new mythology. Visit your local metaphysical shops or look online for information on classes. Websites like The Witches' Voice can help you locate other people and groups in your area. Maybe you can even get a couple of friends together and start a pagan book group!
Another resolution that you may want to make is to experience Wicca. While studying and reading about all of the different facets of Wicca is definitely important to spiritual growth, integrating the craft into your everyday life is just as critical. Wicca is an earth-based religion, and it is also a mystery religion. We learn these mysteries by experiencing them. A person can read every book on Wicca but if they never do any of the exercises they are still only halfway there. For instance, we often call on the elements to help us. How can we know the Air if we never stand in the breeze? How can we know the Fire if we never stand under the noonday sun? How can we know the Water if we never feel the rain on our face? And how can we know the Earth if we never place our hands in the cool, black dirt. So I challenge you in the New Year to get out there and experience the things that you read or hear about. Learn about herbs and then use them. Learn about Divination and then practice it. Even if you find after working with something for a while that it isnít your cup of tea, thatís ok. It is better to have tried it than to have just read about it.
Along with experiencing the many parts of the craft comes creating a record of what you have learned and what you want to remember and keep, or even to pass along. This can be done a couple of ways. Keeping a Book of Shadows is one way. A witchís book of shadows is a record of the magical experiences, rituals, spells, meditations, recipes, etc. Very often people put bits and scraps into the book such as herbs from incense, fabric scraps from a charm bag, or pictures of an altar from a particular ritual. For the most part the Book of Shadows contains all of the above as well as some notes about whether the spell worked, if substitutions were made, what phase the moon was in, and other logistical notes. The second way to record your experiences is in a journal or what is called a Book of Mirrors. This type of book is a place to write your feelings about the experiences, your reflections on the things that you have done. It is also an excellent place to keep track of dreams and divinations. These are the things that you will look back at to track how far you have gone on your path and the things that will make you realize how far you still have to go. You may wish to resolve to begin keeping one or both of these types of books in the coming year.
Wicca is a spiral path and there is always something new around the bend. Take this time to think about your path and decide what you can resolve to do to make it a meaningful part of your life.