Grieving as a Wiccan

Lately I’ve been grieving a lot. This last month or two has been pretty hard. So today I want to talk to you about that. I’ve wanted to talk about it for a while but I wasn’t sure how to format it. So I’m just deciding to write. It may be super long or super short but I think writing this will get it off my chest. My writing style may be a bit different than it usually is, it may not be… I dunno. Regardless I hope you don’t mind.

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The Thursday before the Easter weekend I was contacted by my family, while at work, that my great grandmother wasn’t doing very well. She’s hasn’t been super healthy for a couple years now but nothing crazy. However this time was different. My mom usually tells me that it isn’t anything to worry about yet, but this time she said I might want to come home and see her. So there I was in front of my preschoolers that I teach and I just cried. I told them what was wrong and let me tell you, 4 year olds are so compassionate and loving. They loved me and snuggled me all day long. It was so beautiful. I went to see her that weekend. I live about 3 hours away from my family. My partner and little sister went in with me to see her. She had a hard time talking cause her breathing was very laboured but we had a great visit. That’s the last time I will see my great grandmother. She’s still alive though. When I went to see her she was at her home. Now she is in a hospital and has been for a couple weeks now. My mom says she isn’t the same nan we know and love and that she wouldn’t want me to see her this way. She’s in a lot of pain and is just waiting to die. Every morning I wake up and check my phone to see if I have a message telling me she’s passed. I hope she does soon so she can be at peace. She really hates hospitals. So this is when my grieving started.

Back in March one of the little girls at my preschool (we’ll call her Mabel for privacy sake) went to Florida with her family for a trip. The second day in she got very sick and started having seizures. She had to be put in the hospital. She had what they call F.I.R.E.S. I am not super knowledgeable on what it is. All I know is it’s rare, it started as a common cold, and she had seizures, also 30% of those who get it die from it. However I didn’t know that at the time. It never occurred to me that she would die. Maybe that is naive but that’s how I felt. For two months I had very few updates other than a gofundme page and occasionally something would get written on her classroom attendance sheet about it. Then I came in to work last Friday (the 10th) and was told she didn’t make it. Mabel was 4 years old. I know a dead 4 year old. I was nervous for my kids to find out. I didn’t want them to be sad or scared they were going to die. But when you’re 4 years old 2 months is a long time and a lot of them didn’t remember Mabel very well. I was lucky in that sense so instead of being sad they just had a lot of questions which was a lot easier to deal with. This last Thursday (the 16th) I went to Mabel’s funeral. I wore a pink dress (everyone was in bright pinks and purples as requested by Mabel’s family). It was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced.

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I’m telling you all of this for a couple reasons. One reason is that talking about this I hope will be a little therapeutic for me. I also wanted everyone to understand why my posting has been so inconsistent these last few weeks (also why it may continue to be inconsistent when my nan passes). But also I wanted to share how I am coping as a Wiccan (or if I’m not already doing these things they are things I want to start doing to cope).

What is helping me cope with Nan is first and foremost I know that her passing is going to bring her peace. But also I know that her soul will reincarnate and I will meet it again whether in this life or the next. I’m really trying to focus on the fact that she lived such a great and beautiful life and not on the fact that she’ll be gone.

What is helping me the most when it comes to coping about Mabel is also related to reincarnation but it is a bit different. If you’ve read my post about the signs you are an earth angel you will know that many of these people die as a child. When I think about Mabel, and the beautiful energy her soul had, I confidently feel she had the soul of an angel. Without a doubt. So despite the fact that I don’t totally understand how she died, I can understand why she died and that to me brings great peace.

However other than thinking about these things I have not done much to cope but have just not been thinking about it and it’s probably not the most healthy method of healing. Things that I want to start incorporating into my coping process that you can try too is reiki (be it self reiki or receiving reiki from someone else). I also want to pray more. As I’ve mentioned in my post about my relationship with praying , I tend to stray away from it because it reminds me of Christianity. I think grieving may be a great way for me to change that relationship with prayer because at the end of the day you can pray to whoever or whatever you want, not just the Christian god. So I’d like to reach out to Gaia and Pan more for strength and you can do the same with whoever you matron or patron is. I think meditating and grounding myself will also help me stabilize my emotions. And the last thing I want to suggest for myself and for you is divination. Do spreads to help sort through your emotions. Do spreads for how to cope. Do spreads to talk to those that have passed on if you think that will give you closure. Do a spread to see how your future will be after you’ve moved forward from this hard time.

I hope that this post gives you some ideas on how to cope with what you’re struggling with and also lets you know that even if it feels like you’re all alone and no one understands that there are people who get it (yikes that was cheesy but bear with me). Let me know down below how you use your Wiccan/Pagan faith to get you through times of grief along with any other thoughts or questions you have. Make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. And until next time, Blessed Be!

 

Is Easter really a Christian Holiday?

As many of you know Easter is right around the corner. And as with most Christian holiday’s and traditions, Easter doesn’t stem from Christian beliefs originally. We can bring it all back to Paganism. So, I thought it would be fun if we talked about the actual origins of Easter.

Firstly we should address the fact that most scholars, even biblical ones, agree that Easter was founded by pagan traditions and festivals. The word Easter is thought to be a derivative of the word Eastra, the springtime goddess. Pagans would make sacrifices to this goddess during the time Christians today celebrate Passover. Despite the fact that most scholars agree it is based on a pagan festival, it is not necessarily agreed which festival.

Due to the fact that Easter is about the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ, some believe that it is taken from the symbolism of the death and return of the sun. Then others believe that Easter is taken from the pagan story of *Tammuz and Ishtar (story will be inserted below)

A very common thought process is Easter got its traditions from the sabbat Ostara, the spring equinox. A very important aspect of Ostara is the idea of renewal which is essentially what the Christian’s Easter is all about.

Now, let’s talk about the traditions celebrated at Easter and where they come from. So firstly lets talk about the rabbit. The rabbit is a very big symbol in Easter. We have the Easter bunny as well as chocolate bunnies that people eat. Bunny’s are also a popular gift to give as pets during this time (which is a whole other issue of it’s own). But where does the symbolism of the bunny really come from? Rabbits are actually associated with the spring time goddess Eostre which would be a deity that many Pagans worship during this time of year. They’re also symbols of fertility which is a big part of what Ostara is about. Another symbol associated with Easter is the egg. The reason for this is similar to that of the bunny. The egg represents spring due to the fact that it is a symbol of fertility and renewal. There is also a legend that says the Goddess Ostara healed a wounded bird by changing it into a hare. However the hare was still part bird and showed it’s gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs for her as gifts.

*When Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief–stricken and follows him to the underworld. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. “Naked and bowed low” she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Unless something is done, all life on earth will end.

After Ishtar has been missing for three days her assistant goes to other gods for help. Finally one of them Enki, creates two creatures who carry the plant of life and water of life down to the Underworld, sprinkling them on Ishtar and Tammuz, resurrecting them, and giving them the power to return to the earth as the light of the sun for six months. After the six months are up, Tammuz returns to the underworld of the dead, remaining there for another six months, and Ishtar pursues him, prompting the water god to rescue them both. Thus were the cycles of winter death and spring life.

Thank you for checking out today’s post! I hope you learned something new. What do you think the origins of Easter are? Let me know in the comments along with any other thoughts or questions you have. Also make sure to follow me here and on twitter to get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. And until next time, Blessed Be!

Tarot Series~Minor Arcana: Ten of Cups

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When pulled upright this card is a continuation of the good feelings from the nine of cups. This card is all about joy, happiness, contentment, and emotional satisfaction in the people you surround yourself with. This state you’re in is so ideal that you feel that you are in paradise. All of your wishes, needs, and wants have been fulfilled. Take this time to breath and be thankful for all that you have. This card shows us true emotional fulfillment. When you learned to love yourself the nine of cups became the ten of cups. This card is often thought to be connected to the phrase “happily ever after”. This card also talks about having a harmonious family. You are living in absolute peace. If this is a love reading this card shows that this is the real deal and could very well be something long-term. This card could also be suggesting you should take a family vacation so you can really just spend quality times with your loved ones.

When pulled in reverse this card is about how the connections and harmony within your family are being broken. This idealized image of the perfect family you had is either broken or wasn’t realistic from the get go. Rather than connecting and coming together you may find that you are becoming more distant and pulling apart. The happy moments that you were hoping for don’t seem to have met your expectations. Treat each other well and love each other too. This is the best way to achieve the harmonious living that you desire. 

It would seem that the 10 of cups upright is the kind of life most of us aim to live. I thought, for those of us not quite there, a good step to getting there would be to learn to love ourselves a little more. Here is a tarot spread to help with your self love. First I would take out the 10 of cups and meditate on it while thinking about all the reasons you are worthy of your own love. Then shuffle and pull the cards using your preferred method.

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Thanks for checking out today’s post! I hope you enjoyed. Is the 10 of cups telling your anything lately? If so let me know in the comments along with any other thoughts or questions you have. Also, make sure you follow me here and on twitter so you get notifications when I post and when I upload videos to youtube. And until next time, Blessed Be!