Ever since I discovered Paganism in 2003, I had fallen in love with the mythos, the holidays, the rituals and the feeling of “rightness” that was found nestled within each new discovery. But I struggled with the way to celebrate the turning of the Wheel, and how I could fit a complicated, lengthy way to honor each holiday that I learned about. I quickly found that I fumbled with long chants, unfamiliar tools or symbols, all while juggling a book that told me how to stand or speak. It felt like learning a part of a play that I didn’t want to do anymore, having stage-fright when standing alone before a tree under the noonday sun was a wake up call for me. So I spent many years from 2003 on studying or reading about how to celebrate, and only feeling confident to offer a passing whisper of thanks, a carefully lit candle, or a caress on a stone or tool —– feeling as if I was doing it all wrong.
Today brought back those memories of inadequacy, but not as a continuation of the worry I felt, but as a sense of freedom in how far I had come from that person. I had felt like a failure in the past because I couldn’t light a bonfire and erect a May Pole while awakening as the sun rose and offering drumming, prayers, or burnt offerings to honor the Gods associated with this holiday. Reading what other people had done caused a major case of jealousy mingled with feeling ashamed at how little I could offer.
Now I know better than to feel ashamed, and wish I could reach back into the past to give myself a hug, and whisper that the Gods are pleased with whatever we can give them, as long as it is given freely from our heart. Today I mixed myself a cup of coffee, then shared a portion of it into a amber colored plastic goblet for Loki (a gift from family), adding in cinnamon and honey as is my custom when I give Him a drink. I cleaned out old offerings of last night’s spaghetti dinner, and lifted the coffee up to Him before setting it on top of the fridge beside Loki’s offering bowls of candy, chocolate, and a piece of garlic bread. I know that these might seem odd to others, but they are offered freely to my God to welcome Him in our home as family, and that is what’s important.
Not what the books say, not what everyone else is doing, but what I am led to do through my own intuition. As each day arrives I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever had before, and the sense of relief sometimes brings tears of joy and freedom to my eyes. I will use the power of today to infuse whatever crafts I finish, meals I make, or prayers that I whisper during moments of peace between diaper changes and play time. But I won’t allow myself to worry that what I am doing isn’t enough, or not good enough.
Beltane Blessings to everyone on this beautiful day.