I am not Wiccan. As shared in a previous post, I was as a teenager just finding out there were religious options other than Christian, but I’ve changed since then, and Wicca is no longer the proper place for me in under the Pagan umbrella.
The problem is that there is no established path or religion under the umbrella that does seem to be the place for me. Which means I’m having to create one. Because I am not Wiccan, I feel my practice should not be Wiccan, either, and there are so many things that are–in their structure, and their recent history–Wiccan in origin and usage, but are used by Pagans who are not Wiccan. The Wheel of the Year, for example, is Wiccan. Yet many Pagan religions use the Wheel of the Year as a template for their holy days, probably because it is available, recognizable, and at least has some connection, if tenuous and haphazard, to the practices our pre-Christian pagan ancestors.
It’s also Nature-centric, and my practice, whatever it is, is certainly not Nature-centric, for reasons explained in yet another previous post.
When I talk about building my own practice, I’m talking about something that is polytheistic, Deity-centered, and Self-centered. For an explanation of the Four Centers of Paganism, see John Beckett, who always explains things better than I can. My practice cannot be Nature-centric, because Nature want to kill me, or at least have me gasping for every labored breath. At this time it cannot be Community-centric, because there is no real Pagan community in my area of which to speak. I am a polytheist, so my practice can be and is Deity-centric. I also do Shadow work, and learn a great deal from my gods and my fellow Pagans about how to be a better person, so I consider than to be Self-centric.
If my practice isn’t Nature-centric, why should my holy days be Nature-centric?
To that end, I’ve started evaluating the Wheel of the Year with an eye to keeping those Sabbats I feel have meaning for me outside of their place in the cycles of Nature (Samhain, Yule). I’ve also begun brain-storming ideas for themes I find important, which will be the basis of new holy days just for my practice.
One such day, without a fancy name: Self-Care Day.
In this hectic world of kill-or-be-killed (metaphorically speaking), we often forget to take care of ourselves. Self-Care Day is/will be a reminder to do that, to take a day to do whatever it is that needs to be done to take care of oneself. I absolutely believe that taking care of oneself is and can be deeply spiritual. Especially if one dedicates the day and its activities to a deity, or makes a ritual out of whatever it is one does. Need a nice, hot bath? Make it a ritual bath. Make it time to contemplate, or to simply feel and relax. Absolutely spiritual.
Another holy day I’m thinking about would revolve around the community, or volunteer work. As one takes a day to care for the self, there should also be a balancing day to take care of the community. This can mean whatever kind of community you consider yours. Maybe you do actual volunteer work with a local charity or NPO, or maybe you take time out of your day to help one of your online communities. It doesn’t have to be in-person, and it doesn’t have to be your Pagan community. Just that community with which you connect.
What is important to me? What do I feel is important to me as a person, as a Pagan, as a growing being? These are the things I’m looking to integrate into my personal practice as things to celebrate, and to make holy.
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