Robert Cochrane (1931-1966), father of the contemporary Old Craft movement, was wont to say that the true name of the witch goddess is Fate (Cochrane 25). Yet he writes to Joseph Wilson in 1966 that the “prime duty of the Wise” is to “overcome fate” (Cochrane 23).
What is one to make of this?
Permit me to draw on the traditional vocabulary of the Elder Witcheries and to reframe the discussion in terms of “Wyrd.” Wyrd was anciently seen both as a goddess and as the inherent pattern of things: what Is, the sum total of everything that has happened until now, and the cumulative momentum towards the future inherent in that pattern. In the most abstract sense, one could say that the witches' goddess is Being, as the witches' god is Duration: in effect, Mother Nature and Father Time.
In the corpus of Latvian dainas—folksongs—no goddess is mentioned more often than Laima: Fate, Moira, Wyrd. Everyone acknowledges that she's the most powerful of them all. In some dainas she's said to be more powerful even than Dievs (Heaven/God) himself, but in the poems nonetheless she's generally addressed in the most intimate and personal terms: “my Laima,” “my dear Laima,” “dearest Laima,” the folksongs say. Euphemism perhaps, but what is closer than one's own wyrd?
Robert Cochrane once wrote that the true Goddess of Witches is Fate. In the raksti, the traditional symbol-motifs of Latvian folk art, Laima's symbol is the broom. In the end, she sweeps everything before her.
When translating dainas, I always aim for a poem that sounds as if it could have been written originally in English; hence my choice of “Wyrd” over “Laima” or “Fate”: translating one heathenry with another.
Who hasn't had the experience of one's life being massively altered by some external force? I'm calling it the "hand of fate" as a shorthand, but your own experience may have felt like the hand of a particular deity, or the force of random luck. A lot of money events fall into that category, like landing a well-paying job or ending up homeless through a series of unfortunate events. Particularly when things aren't going your way, those events can make you feel powerless.
Unexpected expenses can eat up the money from your Pagan savings challenge, and make it darned near impossible to raise enough energy for your goal. But if you were able to avert something bad by using money you'd saved . . . that's actually part of the point of this exercise. Congratulations: you now have a saving habit, and with it you raised enough energy to avert the hand of fate.
My joy knew no bounds for I had returned to Isis Temple on the Isle of Philae in Egypt's Nile River. Wondrous feelings of devotion of the goddess Isis flowed through my psyche as I sat on that block of pink granite levitating. I recalled how Isis appeared to me in a New Years eve meditation. She was dark haired, dark skinned and wore the vulture headdress and the solar disks upon her head. She was sober looking and her message to me in that meditation was one of being blessed as I continued my spiritual journey.
I discovered a few years later that I had been a priestess in the Temple of Isis during the reign of Ramses II around 1300 BCE, and that I used to kneel on that very stone that had not yet been placed back inside the temple! When I recently saw who I was -- Nefertari -- I had just released myself from a prison that I had been held in for 3000 years. The process is called the CCMBA, Complete Conscious Mind Body Alignment technique that Dr. Sharron Forest, of British Columbia had discovered. When I did the CCMBA with Dr. Forest I saw that I had become the wife of Ramses II because I was of royal blood and I was living in the temple as an initiate at the time I was chosen. At some point in my queenly journey I agreed to go through an initiation in the Great Pyramid in a closed sarcophagus. By this time evil priests had taken over the feminine Egyptian sacred sites.
My circle sister, Donna got hit by a car while she was taking a walk down a residential street with her husband. She died on Wednesday, February 5th. How do I make sense of that? How does Donna taking a walk with her husband + Jason Lutz not paying attention for a moment = we will never see Donna again?
Now, I know a lot of people like to tout Samhain as the pagan new year, but for me, my year always sort of starts on Imbolc. I think of it as "time to make the doughnuts," in a way. It marks the end of my hibernation.
This year in particular is going to be a very big one for me- it marks the biggest Witchcraft 101 class I've taught in ten years, and it also marks the last of that series I'll be teaching for a while. For the last decade, I've dedicated myself to the education of witches in the basics, teaching everything from healing and conjuration to ritual practice and different models of deity work.