When the absurdities, contradictions and outright lies in my local New Age community finally became clear to me, I had to turn my back forever. And at the exact same moment in time the beauty and wonder of my own roots, and the hard work of the Celtic Reconstructionists before me, came quickly into view. Why hadn't I seen it before? Beguiled by the "next shiny thing" and the aggressive marketing of quick fixes, finding that my own heritage was the "soft landing place" and source of connection I was seeking, was deeply and truly empowering. Here is a poem that I wrote from that time:
wonderful people, places and things, finding it was all dust.
Then, moving down the trail I am met by everyday magic,
as I stir my solitary dust into the sacred cauldron we call life.
Newly awakened, or waeccan, to my Celtic roots,
kissed by the sun and blessed by the moon,
I am infused with an inexplicable desire to SPEAK OUT
~ on behalf of our Mother the Earth,
and all those who would live in harmony with Her.”
My own spiritual journey was deeply informed by Indigenous Knowledge, and this process is fully described in Chapter 2 "I Am Interloper" in Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community.
“Waeccan” or “to be awake” in Old English simply means to be in tune with the presence of the mystery in nature, and I use it to align with my earth-wise Ancestors. When we are waeccan, our heart, mind and soul are open to the beauty in ourselves and all of creation. The term “waeccan” may be the root for “wicca” or “witch,” but I do not practice wicca or witchcraft. Drifting far from respectable roots in Old English and Germanic paganism, the etymology of “wicca,” “wiccan” and “witch” became progressively dire as a result of Christian oppression. Today, the brave tradition established by feminist foremothers Starhawk, Z Budapest and others to reclaim and embody the term “witch” as a valid, empowering and positive contemporary identity is admirable, and many have been able to disconnect the identity markers “wicca,” “wiccan” and “witch” from their negative associations.
FEMINIST GODDESS SPIRITUALITY
Many aspects of Feminist Goddess Spirituality have been entwined with New Age, but I continue to embrace Matriarchal Studies as a deeply honorable direction for cultural transformation.
A curated collection of resources for those awakening to their Celtic Heritage can be found here: www.stonecirclepress.com/celtic-reconstruction.html