Wiccans bewitched by nature

Allhallow’s Eve, a night of ghosts and goblins kids in costumes, going door to door, yelling “trick or treat,” pumpkins carved into jack-o’-lanterns – this is Halloween.

Wicca is a polytheistic, nature-based religion. I worship a Goddess and a God or one of the many aspects thereof.

Nature has male and female aspects; I believe the gods do, too. The God is a dying and rising God. The Goddess is eternal.

In one aspect, the God represents the grains, fruits and meat we eat. The Goddess is the mother that nurtures us and helps us grow. We celebrate eight Sabbats (holidays):

* Samhain – the New Year. The God is lord of the dead.

* Yule – rebirth of the God (winter solstice).

* Imbolc – the promise of spring and end of winter.

* Ostara – spring and the renewal of life.

* Beltane – the marriage of the Goddess and God.

* Litha – God is at the peak of his power (summer solstice).

* Lammas – the first harvest.

* Mabon – the major harvest. The God “dies” at this time.

Samhain is the final harvest before winter sets in. This is a time to not only set aside food for winter, but also to reflect on the past year. This is a time to save the thoughts, ideas and activities that benefit and to set aside those things that we no longer need or are not beneficial.

At Samhain, the God is “dead” and residing in the “Summerland,” where all beings that die go to rest, reflect on life’s lessons and prepare to be reborn; the womb of the Goddess.

The God guides all that die to Summerland. I don’t view death as the end, but as a time of rest and reflection. I also believe that when you are ready, you will be reborn.

Samhain is also a time to pay respect to those who have gone on before us. The veil between our world and the Summerland is thinnest now.

At this time, we can communicate with our loved ones still in Summerland. Many Wiccans and pagans also believe Samhain is the best time for divination for the year to come.

I have been practicing Wicca for seven years. I became a priest about five years ago and have been high priest of Silver Midnight Coven for three years.

I was raised in the Episcopal Church. As a teenager, I was encouraged to explore and find something that worked for me. The only service that touched me, before becoming Wiccan, was a Catholic service on Mount Lemmon.

I was the only non-Catholic member of a Catholic youth group. The priest talked about nature and all of its glories.

Wicca recognizes the female and the male and the divine in everything and everyone. And Wicca encourages me to interact with the Goddess and God, without even going through a priest.

Michael Reynolds is high priest of Silver Midnight Coven.

Tucson Citizen

Guest Opinion: Wiccans bewitched by nature

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