by Selena Fox
I am Pagan. I am a part of the whole of Nature. The Rocks, the Animals, the Plants, the Elements, and Stars are my relatives. Other humans are my sisters and brothers, whatever their races, colors, genders, sexual orientations, ages, nationalities, religions, lifestyles. Planet Earth is my home. I am a part of this large family of Nature, not the master of it. I have my own special part to play and I seek to discover and play that part to the best of my ability. I seek to live in harmony with others in the family of Nature, treating others with respect.
I am Pagan. I celebrate the changing seasons, the turning of the Wheel of the Year. I celebrate with singing, dancing, feasting, rituals, and in other ways. I celebrate each turn of the Wheel with personal spiritual practices and by taking part in community festivals.
- Samhain, commonly known as Halloween, is a time for gazing into the future and for paying homage to my Ancestors and other loved ones in the Spirit world. I work magic for greater religious freedom for Pagan peoples and humankind as a whole. I celebrate the Wiccan and Celtic spiritual New Year.
- Yule, the Winter Solstice, is a festival of peace and a celebration of waxing solar light. I honor the new Sun child by burning a oaken Yule log in a sacred fire. I honor the Great Goddess in her many Great Mother aspects, and the Father God as Santa in his Old Sky God, Father Time, and Holly King forms. I decorate my home with lights and with holly, ivy, mistletoe, evergreens and other herbs sacred to this season. I ring in the new Solar year with bells.
- At the beginning of February, I celebrate Candlemas, known to ancient Celts as Imbolc and to contemporary Americans as Groundhog's Day. I focus on spiritual purification and clearing away blockages to prepare for the coming of Spring and new growth. During this festival, I light candles to honor Brigid and I invite her to inspire my artistic works and guide my healing practice. I give offerings of seeds to wild birds.
- At the time of the Spring Equinox, I welcome the renewal of Spring and celebrate the greening of the Earth by dressing in green myself. I honor the Teutonic Goddess Ostara and the spirit of the Rabbit, Her consort. I color eggs with friends and divine choices for new growth.
- Beltane at the beginning of May is a festival of fertility and pleasure. I dress in bright colors and wear a garland of flowers in my hair. I dance the Maypole to bless gardens and creative projects. I leap the Beltane bonfire for good luck. I place flowers at the Bast Sacred Cat Shrine and other sacred sites.
- Summer Solstice time, also known as Midsummer and Litha, is a grand gathering time when I greet old friends and meet new ones. I dance with them around a sacred bonfire to the magic rhythms of drums. I honor my spiritual community and tribe. I celebrate Pagan culture. I add stones to the sacred Stone Circle on Circle Sanctuary land with prayers for planetary harmony and well-being.
- As August arrives, I celebrate Lammas, also known as Lughnassad. At this festival, I honor the height of Summer and prosperity. I not only give thanks for wild and cultivated plants and for blessings that are starting to come to fruition, but I also pray for continued abundance. I break and eat bread with others in ritual and I give bread and herb offerings to the Goddesses and Gods of agriculture.
- Fall Equinox, which some call Mabon, is the time of thanksgiving for all the harvests I've reaped during the growing time. I give thanks for food I have received from the gardens and fields and for other blessings which have come into my life. I return to the Mother Earth offerings that come from the best of the fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and other food stuffs I've gathered.
- And at Samhain, this Wheel of the Year starts again.
I am Pagan. I also honor the seasons of life within my life's journey -- beginnings, growth, fruition, harvest, endings, rest, and beginnings again. Life is a Circle with many cycles. With every Ending comes a new Beginning. Within Death there is the promise of Rebirth.
I am Pagan. I see circles of change and renewal not only within my own life's journey, but in my heritage. I see my life as a circle that connects with the life circles of my ancestors. They are part of me and my life. The ancient wisdom of Nature's Renewal and Recycling is embodied in the crests of two of my Ancestoral clans. From my German ancestors of my mother's mother's lineage is the totem of the heron, a family emblem signifying perseverance and renewal after difficulties. From my Celtic ancestors of my father's father's lineage is the crest bearing the symbol of a hewn oak tree sprouting new branches and leaves from its stump, enclosed in a circle with the motto, Iterum Viriscit, which means It grows Green again. These symbols and motto remind me not only of my own renewal and the renewal of Nature, but also the renewal of Pagan philosophy on this planet that is part of my life's work as a Pagan priestess.
I am Pagan. Intentional consciousness change, Magic, is part of my spirituality. For every problem there is at least one workable solution as well as opportunity for growth. I create my own reality with my thoughts, feelings, and actions. Whatever I send out always returns. I seek to abide by the Wiccan Rede: "And It Harm None, Do What You Will." When I do magic in rituals, before I raise and direct energy, I seek always to look at the larger picture of which my needs are just a part. I endeavor to work for the best for all as well as to help myself. When problems come my way, I seek to understand their cause and messages as part of my finding a solution. In doing healing work, I seek to address the underlying spiritual causes of disease, rather than only focusing on relief of its symptoms.
I am Pagan. I work magic by the Moon to help and to heal others, myself, and the Planet. The Triple Goddess of the Moon guides me. I activate beginnings in the Waxing, energize manifestations at the Full, and clear away obstructions with the Waning and Dark. I take part in rituals at the New and Full Moons, and I know that my Circles are part of a great web of Circles that meet at these times around Planet Earth.
I am Pagan. I embrace Pantheism, acknowledging that the Divine is everywhere and in everything. I honor the Divine that is within the oak trees in the forest, in the herbs in the garden, in the wild birds singing in the trees, in the rock outcroppings on the hillside, in myself, and yes, even in "things" such as my car, cameras, and computers. I understand that everything with a physical body has a spiritual body, too. The physical and spiritual are deeply intertwined, not separate, in this world of form. I honor the interconnectedness of Creator and Creation.
I am Pagan. I know that Divinity has many facets and I experience this through a variety of Goddesses, Gods, and other spiritual forms. I also honor Divine Oneness, the Unity of All. My personal encounters with Pagan Goddesses, Gods, and other Divine forms have transformed and enriched my life. Hecate appeared at a Death to teach me of release and rebirth. As a young child, Artemis flowed through me and helped me ward off a would-be rapist. Selena of the Full Moon brings me visions and my name. Sacred Sun energizes me. Yemaya of the Ocean cleanses and renews me. I have heard Pan play his pipes in the woods. Dionysius awakens within me the joys of spontaneity and ecstatic bliss and teaches me the mysteries of androgyny. I have experienced the union of Goddess and God while making love with my mate in the garden. Bast has helped me deepen my connections with my Cat friends. Cernunnos has appeared to me in the forest as a Stag. Isis has spoken to me in bursts of radiance in the deep of the Night and in flows of energy through my hands in doing healings. Saturn has given me lessons about discipline, time, and organic agriculture. Lady Liberty protects me as I work for religious freedom for Wiccans and other Pagans. Mother Earth guides my work on behalf of this Planet. I also experience the Divine as totem animals, plant allies, and as other forms in my dreams, in guided inner journeys, and while questing for vision alone in the wilderness.
I am Pagan. My spiritual practices include self-acceptance and understanding, instead of self-rejection. I share my views with others when I sense it is right, but I do not proselytize, claiming my way is the only true right way for everyone. There are many paths up the mountain of spiritual understanding, not just one path.
I am Pagan. My worship takes the form of Divine communion with Nature. As part of my worship, I founded and caretake a sacred Nature preserve, Circle Sanctuary. I do rituals at special places there, such as in the Stone Circle atop a sacred mound; on Spirit Rock high above the valleys; in the Magic Circle garden; by outdoor shrines; in the indoor Temple room; and in the ancient sandstone rock shelters that housed the ancient ones that lived on this land thousands of years ago. I also do rituals elsewhere on the land and at other places, outdoors and indoors. My worship and rituals can be anywhere since my sacred circle is portable. Wherever I am, I can set up a circle around a sacred sphere with seven invocations: to the four compass point directions, to the Cosmos above, to the Planet below, and to Spiritual Integration in the center.
I am Pagan. I journey to the Otherworld in my dreams, meditations, and rituals. I use sacred tools to aid me in my journeys and my magic making. These include cauldrons, crystals, candles, censors of incense, chalices of water, pentacles of salt, dishes of soil, feathers, bells, brooms, rattles, drums, wands, staffs, blades, mirrors, and a variety of divination tools, including Tarot cards, I Ching yarrow stalks, and Rune stones. I fly with my consciousness through time and space. I explore other dimensions and then I return with insights, knowledge, and power. I go between the worlds for healing, growth and transformation. Intuitive, psychic perception is a natural, not supernatural, part of my daily life.
I am Pagan. I attune myself to the four elements of Nature -- Earth, Air, Fire, Water -- and to the fifth element, Spirit, which is the spiritual force that connects all. I see these Elements in Nature -- the Earth in the soil and rocks; the Air in the winds and atmosphere; the Fire as the lightning, fires, and electricity; the Water in the springs, rivers, oceans, rain, and other waters on the planet; and the Spirit as Divine Unity. I also see these Elements as aspects of Self -- my physical body and physiology is my Earth; my intellect and thoughts my Air; my will and actions my Fire; my emotions and feelings my Water; and my Inner Self, my Soul, is my Spirit. I endeavor to keep myself healthy and in balance in all these parts of Self. I work toward a restoring of balance of the Elements in the environment.
I am Pagan. I hear the cries of Mother Earth who is upset with the harm being done to the environment by humankind. I am dismayed by the pollution of the air, the soil, and the waters, and by the domination games being played by nations with the fire of nuclear missles and other weapons of mass destruction. I also am concerned about spiritual pollution on the Planet -- selfishness, hatred, greed for money and power, addiction, violence, despair. Yet as I perceive these problems, I also perceive cleansing and healing happening on Planet Earth at this time. I know that I can help in at least a small way to bring the Planet into greater balance by seeking balance in my own life, by being a catalyst for restoring balance in the lives of others, and by working for a better environment. I know that my attitudes and my way of living can make a difference. I endeavor to be a channel for healing and balance. I make the practice of environmental responsibility a personal part of my daily life. I endeavor to live in harmony with the other members of the family of Nature.
I am Pagan. Nature Spirituality is my religion and my life's foundation. Nature is my spiritual teacher and holy book. I am part of Nature and Nature is part of me. My understanding of Nature's inner mysteries grows as I journey on this spiritual path.