Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Wiccan Course for ULC Seminary
By Rev. Michele M. Gordon
First of all, I want to thank Lord SkyWalker for his time and energy that showed in the course work! I was highly impressed with what I learned in this course. Thank you, Lord SkyWalker!
I have had opportunities for many years to practice some Wiccan ceremony ways, and to meet "real" Wiccan practitioners in my lifetime. I am, however, of Native American heritage, (Anishinabe), which is also referred to as Ojibwe, or Chippewa. I am from the Bad River Reservation in Odanah, Wisconsin., and have practiced my Native ways of spirituality for more than 30 years now! There are similarities between the Wiccan ways, which also have a close connection to Nature, as does our Anishinabe way. We also believe in walking in a good way upon Mother Earth, and looking at the 4 directions for guidance (the Medicine Wheel). And of course, we believe in our ceremonies as a special time of connection between one another and with the Creator.
I found making the altar a very special part of the course work. I have attached a picture of the altar I made. I enjoyed learning about how each altar can be set up to suit the individual practitioner, and also that there are certain things that need to be a part of the ceremony. I had fun searching out a chalice, rock to represent the Goddess and Lord, and also a wand. I made this out of the end of a Tamarack branch. Tamarack trees are sought out for teepee poles, and I happened to have a teepee in my yard, and was able to find one end of one pole to use for the wand.
I loved the history of Wicca, and was saddened by the tragedies that occurred because of prejudice and judgments of others. I do believe there is a Karma for any sort of persecution of peoples. My own ancestors endured oppression and holocaust-type annihilations, so I have a deep understanding for what happened to Wiccans of the past and even in the present. I have a beautiful story as a psychotherapist to share. One of my young clients had a desire to look into Wicca, and become a part of it. Her mother, however, was Christian, and of the more fundamental sort. I was amazed, however, that the mother was open to discussing this with her daughter in one of our sessions. In the end, they both allowed me to invite a Wiccan woman in to share about her religion and way of life. Both Mother and Daughter were able to ask questions and get answers. The mother was able to see that this woman lived a pretty normal life, and practiced her ways of belief in a beautiful manner. The Mother and Daughter also took a class together with a local "witch" and were able to gather more information. They also read books together on the topic of Witchcraft and Wicca. It was a fun thing to see, as it could have turned out so very differently, if the Mother had forbade her daughter to pursue her interests. The story had a beautiful ending for both, and brought them closer as a Mother and Daughter.
I believe this course brought me more information and knowledge regarding Wicca and the practice of it. I believe strongly in "energy medicine", as a Reiki Master. I see the power of prayer as energy that can be put to good use, and I believe Wicca is one way of gathering that energy and using it in a positive way. I actually had my old "Book of Shadows" and pulled that out from years ago! I was amazed at how much this book had in it, which I had gathered over 30 years ago!! I now keep it in a very special place, and refer to it on occasion as part of my spirituality. As a Native woman, we have women's ceremonies, one of which is the Full Moon ceremony. I have hosted this at my home since the 80's, and continue to do so. I see that the Wiccan ceremonies are also around the moon at times, and it has shown me that the Moon has been important to women for eons. I have come to believe that it does not matter how we do ritual, as long as we connect to the energies that are around us, and share with others these sacred times.
As a Reverend with the Universal Life Church, I have done many wedding and funeral ceremonies which incorporate my Native beliefs into the rituals. This has been very special to me, and I believe it is why I was called upon to be a Reverend with ULC, so that people can have access to their ceremony the way they would like it to be. I was called upon to perform a ceremony that the couple had chosen to put some Wicca parts in, and it was delightful! They had Hand-fasting as part of the ceremony, and they stood in the lake as they said their vows to one another. I loved it!
I so appreciated Lord Skywalker's open-ness about his practice. He enjoyed his ways of teaching.
Reverend Michele M. Gordon
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