This essay was originally published at Neo-Paganism.com.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
In order to change we must facilitate change. Change doesn't just come, no matter how much we desire it. Change is often painful, jarring us out of a comfortable, though dissatisfying existence, forcing us into molds that don't fit who we are, but will eventually turn us into who we wish to be. Change in our lives is not the gracefully seamless flow of color and scent we see in nature as the Wheel turns around us. Do trees suffer as they burst from summer's green to autumn's golden splendor? How does the goldenrod and the Michaelmas daisy feel as their colors brighten beneath the cooling autumn sun? Of course we can't know; nature's children keep their secrets to themselves.
It often seems that as much as we welcome change we are at the same time resisting it, fighting and forcing it back until opportunity has passed us by, only to leave us wondering what went wrong and wishing our circumstances (or we) could change. Why is this so, I wonder? I am as guilty of it as anyone, and like most others I recognize it, yet I still have to consciously remind myself that what I am doing (or am meant to be doing) really is to my own benefit, regardless of how much I detest it. Case in point: that excruciating half an hour on my elliptical machine every day, that half an hour I skipped this morning and will no doubt try my best to avoid doing tomorrow even though I know exercise is healthy for me, and if I want to do a 5K color run next summer I need to begin training now....
When I first started writing for W&P my intent was to focus more on nature and Spirit here, more technical, interfaith, and political issues over at Patheos. Such plans are nice, but rarely maintain themselves, and that one was no exception. On either end.
I just published what I think is an important post on Pagan religion and environmentalism over there as part of a big discussion on the topic. Perhaps some of you who do not watch that site regularly might want to take a look at it.
The Crone is knocking,
I hear her in the trees...
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.
Summer is a time when you both wrestle with what isn't working and celebrate the fruits of your labors. When you peek under leaves only to discover bugs in your cabbages, whether literal or metaphorical. When you bask in what is growing well, what has taken root firmly, what is beautiful in the sunshine, what you can trust, taste, enjoy and savor. In the summer, we see both weeding and harvesting. Planting and tending and maintaining. We see withering. We see giving up. We see what is dying and what is thriving. This is the balance of the year. The wheel turns and turns and turns and before we know it, we are holding a palm full of blackberries once more. Older, different, changed and yet, right there, again. That juicy bite of summer....
In Peruvian folklore, Kuka Mama ("mother coca") or Cocamama (Cocomama) is a goddess of health and happiness. The tale goes that she was accused of being promiscuous by a jealous lover. She was cut in half and her body planted like a seed which grew into the first coca plant. It is said that the leaves should only be chewed by men after they have satisfied a woman’s sexual needs. Other sources describe her as benevolent and beneficial Nature divinity. I couldn't find much more than that on this deity but I did find quite a bit on coca.
My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons. As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’. I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together. She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it. I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years. I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.