Sunday, November 08, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Day 7

I have been playing "catch-up"

Rites of Passage
I don't know about most religions but I know that Catholics do Rites of Passage as part of their faith – baptism, communion, et cetera. Wicca, too, has Rites of Passage. But seeing as my oldest is only just turning 4, I haven't gotten past the baptism. The Wicca equivalent of a baptism is called a Wiccaning. However, like any baptism, this dedicates the child to the actual faith and god(s) that they need to follow. Instead of a Wiccaning I prefer to do a baby blessing. That way she is blessed and guided by the gods throughout her life, but she doesn't have to follow a set faith or dogma until she is old enough to choose her own way.

Violet was blessed by my mother at her church. Being a polytheist, I do not discriminate between gods. I believe all gods are worthy of watching over my children and guiding them spiritually when they seek it. Being as it was almost four years ago when it happened, though, I don't really remember how it went. I remember a prayer and Violet being blessed with the holy oil and that's about it. She had been only a couple of weeks and so I was still seriously suffering from “mommy-brain.”

Daisy's was different. It was held at my house and was performed by my friend, Eartha, who was ordained by Universal Life Church. It was simple, with candles, and with only our family, Eartha's husband. and out friend Boston. I had chosen a Wiccaning Rite out of the book Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and tweaked it to better suit my needs. There was nothing wrong with his rite, it was just too specific to the Wiccan faith and I don't want to force one faith on my children. So it went as follows:

I set up the altar, which was my coffee table, with all the necessary accouterments. I had one main candle to light to honor the Goddess and four smaller candles place at the four corners of the earth, North, South, East, and West, with the corresponding colors; green, red, yellow, and blue. I then called upon the gods and the Watchtowers to supervise the blessing while Eartha blessed the water.

PARENTS: Here we offer [BABY'S NAME], the fruit of our love, to the Gods. May they watch over her as she grows.

OFFICIATE: (bless baby's forehead with holy water, anointing oil, or blessed salt water) [BABY'S NAME], may the Gods smile upon you, guard you, and guide you through this life. May they help you choose between right and wrong and that no harm befalls you or others through you.
(to PARENTS) You are both blessed by the Gods. Will you lead [BABY'S NAME], with love, through the ways of life and teach her to honor and respect all life and others?

PARENTS: Yes, we will.

OFFICIATE: Will you teach her to strive for her happiness and desires, and, when the time comes, to choose her own path with the Universe?

PARENTS: Yes, we will.

OFFICIATE: (to all present) And so we welcome and bless [BABY'S NAME] unto this world. May the Gods protect her always. Blessed be.

ALL: Blessed be!
After all was said and done, we passed Daisy around and she was held by all while they whispered their blessings to her. Their gifts to her were yellow carnation flowers.

Zinnia's blessing was also held at our house not too long ago, about a month ago if I'm not mistaken and even that one was done differently. I had chosen an Omaha tribe children's blessing tat I had come across one day and found absolutely suiting and beautiful. This time, more people were present and all from our Pagan healing circle. Boston officiated this one as Eartha is currently pregnant and I figured she'd prefer to sit this one out.

I set up the altar before hand, very similar to the way I had done last time, but instead of invoking the gods and calling the quarters then casting a circle, I just called upon the gods to join us by lighting the largest candle and lit a corresponding corner candle when the blessing was read.

Sun, Moon, Stars, all you that move in the heavens, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the first hill! (Here I let the red south candle)

Winds, Clouds, Rain, Mist, all you that move in the air, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the second hill! (Here I let the blue West candle)

Hills, Valleys, Rivers, Lakes, Trees, Grasses, all you of the earth, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the third hill! (Here I let the green North candle)

Birds, great and small, that fly in the air,
Animals, great and small, that dwell in the forest,
Insects that creep among the grasses and burrow in the ground, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the fourth hill! (Here I let the yellow East candle)

All you of the heavens, all you of the air, all you of the earth, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his path smooth, then shall he travel beyond the four hills!(At this point, Zinnia was blessed with the holy water)

When all was finished, we then explained the meanings of the Medicine Wheel and the four hills while the baby was passed around. Everyone told her their wishes and blessings for her as well as gave her gifts. We then hung out and all had pizza.

even though each was different, all the blessings were special and had the same purpose, to give my children spiritual protection and love. I can't wait until they are older so that we can do other Rites of Passage together. I think it would be nice to enter into womanhood with their mother behind them to support them. When I first started my menstrual cycle I was nervous, ashamed, and horribly upset. I was not happy that I was female at all. Then again, i had just turned eleven and didn't like the idea of being a woman. I knew about all the physical changes my body was going through already, I had researched it, but my mother, thinking that I already knew enough, wasn't “there”. It was never a big deal and I couldn't really talk about it because I had been taught that it was something private that we kept to ourselves. I don't want my daughters to feel ashamed to be a woman like I did. I know my mother was just doing what she thought she was supposed to do, what she had been taught, but it didn't benefit me in the least. I want to be there for all the spiritual and physical monuments in their lifetime. I think it is paramount to guide them through and cheer them on.

word count: 1207

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