As all of you know, I am part of a pagan group here in my home town. The group is a combination of Wiccan and Druid. I love those people and they have become family to me. However, as Wheel of the Year progresses to a full year with my extended family (my first ritual was Yule) and I get further into the path of the ceremonial magician, I feel more like the "odd man out".
I think this feeling is a result of my intense desire to have more CM experiences. I will continue with the "tribe" because I still feel I have so much more to learn from them, I have intense loyalty to them and they provide me with the sense of community and giving that I do not get from CM yet.
For the Samhain ritual, I performed my first belly dance. In true Leo fashion, I was hypercritical of my performance. In my mind, I sucked but I gave it my best shot. I do not let fear get too much in the way of positive experiences. Many people told me I look beautiful and confident but I still do not believe it. I compared my performance to that of a colt, standing for the first time, on her awkward, yet still very powerful legs, clumsy and beautiful. I truly felt that way. I still have some practice but I will get there. One of the Mother Belly Dancers gifted me with a porcupine quill. Her soft, compassionate and full of light eyes filled me with strength as she handed me the token of the belly dancer's rite of passage. I wore it in my hair for my performance and the entire ritual.
The ritual was led by the Druid and the Water Witch. They have been through many obstacles lately with their responsibilities and illness. Despite their many issues, they led the ceremony with power.
The druid invoked our ancestors for Samhain. I called my parents and honored my father specifically during the ritual. As I spoke my tearful words to my dad, I felt years of anger come out of me. My words seem to stoke the fire as I spoke them. I suddenly remember how badly I felt growing up that my hero was a person that was treated with so much discrimination. With the tears in my eyes and the anger in my belly, I realized I had to let go of that feeling of resentment because the feelings were no longer valid. I had to let go before I can continue to grow.
Frater Robert lent his divination abilities to the group. He spoke of letting go, which validated my realization at the fire.
My mom made sure she told me in loving disdain that she wished I stayed a Catholic. I knew at once that it was indeed my mother :). She did, however, tell me she approved of me going back to my spirituality. My parents took some time to touch each person they approved of. They laid their hands on them with purpose, meaning and love. I also interpreted that gesture as their guidance that I should learn more from those particular people. My father showed his respect and approval to two particular people. He actually smiled at them. My dad rarely smiled. He was stern and emotionless for the most part.
Samhain was a big milestone for me and provided me with very valuable insight. I can now begin rebuilding myself.
And lastly, here is the music from my first belly dancing solo. The music is hauntingly beautiful and full of prayer.