Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why my practice doesn't involve Imbolc

I am a pretty much a newbie when it comes to dedicated Pagan practice. I've always been Pagan in my heart, have always felt the call to Nature and the liberation of an open mind. Which to me of course are two of the most important things that define my spirituality and Paganism. But, I'm new to magic, new to celebrating according to the Wheel, and new to the label. My husband is pretty much in the same boat as I am.

Last year we tried our best to celebrate each Sabbat on its generally agreed upon date. We've done a lot of reading - studied up on the history of each Sabbat - and tried to make them fit in with our views and beliefs. Unfortunately, Imbolc is one of those Sabbats that we found are not relevant to our practice.

My husband and I do not practice Wicca. Neither of us (except maybe in distant ancestry) have any connection to Irish or Gaelic culture. Neither of these pantheons call to us. These are probably the main reason's why Imbolc doesn't jive with us. We've tried to find other reasons to adopt the celebration into our practice (who doesn't want another excuse to celebrate?), like for instance "it's nearly Spring!" but, unfortunately, in the Pacific Northwest during this time of year it is hard to believe the ground will ever be dry again let alone begin to think we might see Spring. Heck! Not even my tulips or the crocus are in a hurry to pop out this year!

This has been an area of distress for me of late. I don't know where the notion that every Sabbat had to be celebrated for me to be a "good" Pagan came from, but it was there all the same. I had another one of those "ah-ha!" moments when it occurred to me that no one was in charge of my spirituality but me and that I had left the confines of organized mainstream religion for the freedom of choice of how and when to practice.

My moral is simple. Not every Sabbat needs to be celebrated or even followed to any specific requirements. If a Sabbat doesn't mesh with your views of the world, of the seasons, or of Divinity, don't feel pressured to cram it into your life. This doesn't serve any purpose but to create undo stress.


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