Sometimes life is a pendulum. Sometimes faith is, too. Or maybe just mine is – spiraling out and then back in again as I grow into my faith. It’s why the spiral has always held such importance to me, because it’s ever spinning out into eternity and in to the core of self. Out to the universal pan-Pagan view point that is more Wiccan than anything; in to traditional, tribal thinking and practice. And then back out again to my own path and my own way of doing things. But, man, it’s hard when you don’t have someone else showing you the way. Sometimes, leading a spiritual life takes work. Why couldn’t I just be a Christian, where the rituals and steps are all planned out for me? Wait, nevermind.
But the point is, I’m growing and learning. The spiral has turned out the other way for me and is spinning back to a middle ground. Part of me would love to live within a tribal faith community, to raise a family within one. But the reality is, there is no community for me within those norms. My husband, my most beloved and the man who walks beside me on this path we trod, is not a Gaelic Pagan. His Gaelic roots are not the most important part of his history, his Italian roots are. His is a Christian and though he is an atypical Christian, I wouldn’t change his faith for anything, because that is his personal relationship with his God. I cannot ask him to change when he has never, not once in nine years, asked me to change mine even a little. He signed on when it was me and my supposedly duotheistic path and now finds himself married to a woman who must give parts of her heart to five different Gods – one of which I have so very little to offer him knowledge of since I still haven’t learned it myself. How could I ask him to change when the changes I’ve made were even farther away from not only what he was raised knowing, but what I once professed to believe myself.
Somethings haven’t changed – I am still devoted to my Gods, even if I don’t have a practice that gives Them the honor They deserve. I’m lucky that They have been accepting of the devotion of my heart in place of a devotion of goods. I’m sure that it won’t last forever, and They are deserving of my best, but I’m beyond grateful for Their patience with me. I’m still learning Them and what it is each of them wants for and needs from me. Danu and an’Dagda have been, as from that first summer that I discovered Them and Their affection for me, a constant blessing. My beloved father has been my strength as I have made the determination that I would no longer accept my earthly father’s abuse. I’ve grown closer to Brighid in acknowledging Her near-constant presence in my life for most of my life. One thing that has been used to describe me from my youngest years has been the inspiration that has whispered in my ears since I was a toddler. Even before I was welcomed by my Patron mother and father, even before I knew to look for the Gods beyond the joy and wonder of life all children are blessed with, the one who calls me “Little Sister” has whispered in my ear.
And then there is my Lord. Manannan would have me all to Himself, if I did not have other obligations. I know there are some that will read that and roll their eyes, and that’s okay. I understand that many see Him as a doting uncle or father, and I can appreciate that part of Him is in there somewhere. But He is a strong, virile presence that demands my attention. But, thankfully, He respects more that I honor the vows I have taken (and wouldn’t walk away from even if I could) than He would if I abandoned all to devote myself to Him. And He has much to teach me, much that I’m not sure if I am ready to learn, but I am looking forward to having already learned – if that makes sense. That leaves only my mysterious God. He is a primordial. No. He’s a Primordial. There is something about Him so ancient, so far beyond anything that I can understand or have encountered in my life that I have no words for Him. Danu is the same, but She came to me in a way that I could understand and it wasn’t until after She had comforted me and I was ready to learn that She showed me the depth and vastness of who She is. I still don’t understand all of Her. But my mysterious God has not taken the effort to try to form Himself into something small enough that I can comprehend Him. Hell, He hasn’t done much of anything but bid me “patience”. I will come to a point where He no longer overwhelms me with His mere presence and maybe then I will know what my mysterious God has in store for me. And maybe it will come before then; I cannot know. But that has been His one, tireless command of me. Patience. Patience. Like the beating of the waves on the ocean. Patience.
So I will learn as They teach me, and do my best to always submit myself to Their wisdom. Every day spent under Their tutelage makes me ever stronger of spirit and I am grateful for it. I am also worthy of it. That is another lesson They have taught me. I don’t come before Them humbled and bowing. I come acknowledging not only my own worth, but my own power. I search for an epitaph for Brighid to call Her in return with the familiarity that She calls me. Because I am worthy of that affection from Her, and I will no longer shy away from it because of what others might think. I will no longer shy away from the power and possessiveness of my Lord because of what others will think – only holding Him to the limits of honoring my vows to my husband and my Patrons. And I’ll do my best not to fear that which I don’t yet understand about my mysterious God.