Wicca is connection

I’ve really been enjoying Deporodh’s series over at Swangrove Coven about eight qualities in the Charge of the Goddess: beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence. Her most recent post is on humility, and I want to pull this excerpt from it:

…if you boil Wicca down to a one-word core concept, it is “connection”; (K.C.’s example for Christianity was “forgiveness” or for Buddhism was “mindfulness”). Humility joins people, and that junction, that connection, so key to the love and trust intrinsic to Wiccan magic & Wiccan ritual—that connection depends on the equalizing effect of humility as much as it depends on that love and trust.

This… this is a beautiful core thing that I want to hold onto. Without getting too deep and spilling out too much of my needy inner self, I can say that connection is one of the driving forces that brought me to Wicca and keeps me here. I’ve been solitary, as a baby Pagan and as a more experienced adult. I’ve been part of a small group that met literally down the block from my own apartment, I’ve been part of a slightly larger group that met hours away from where I lived, and I was far away from blood family and my home state both times. Now I’m finding myself home, still living far enough away from my group that I only make it to a few events, but also part of a group with 20+ regulars attending public full moons. My goal is to build a group that will actually meet in my home, which is going to be an entirely new experience.

The connections that I’m building now are part of being in a tradition. I’ve always been very aware of my self, my personality, my thought patterns and habits and experiences, and able to analyze them and make changes in my life. Yet I’ve recently concluded that this ability is only half of the story. If I can’t give voice to those understandings and tell about those experiences, what good does it do anyone else? How can I be connected to other people? What value do I bring to the table, and what value can I get as part of a functioning group? It’s all of a piece: willingness to speak my piece, showing why anyone should listen to what I have to say, how someone could connect to me and why they might want to be part of a coven with me.

And then there’s connection to the gods. We help Them and They help us. We’re connected to them and to each other at the level of the divine soul, and physically here on Earth, we’re all part of many ecosystems. All connected.

(All this said: My lesson is probably to have more self-esteem and only as much humility is appropriate. It’s what I’m fighting against by learning to stand up, metaphorically sometimes, and say my piece.)

Resources for pronouncing Old Norse

I’ve recently discovered Dr. Jackson Crawford, a professor of Old Norse who posts YouTube videos about the language, the runes, and Norse myth and sagas (as of today, there’s 61 videos on that playlist, so enjoy). If the Norse gods are at all part of your Paganism, here’s a few that are worth a watch.

Pronunciation of Old Norse Gods’ Names, Part 1 (Part 2 is here)

Introduction to the Norse Gods and Goddesses

The Names of the Runes (Elder Futhark) — also interesting are Runes: A Two-Minute Introduction and Where Do the Runes Come From?

The 9 Worlds of Norse Myth — from this one I really like the point that “the medieval Norse did not have a concept of a planet in space. These Nine Worlds are more like realms with a very vague geographical relationship to each other.” To me, it seems that they’re more like the astral realm, which may have its own geography but doesn’t necessarily map to the physical realm.

Dr. Crawford has a Patreon to continue making these videos, so if you enjoyed them, consider signing up to support him. (These are not affiliate links and I have no connection to Dr. Crawford personally; I just think this is quality content.) He also has a contemporary English translation of the Poetic Edda available on Amazon, which you might be interested in if you found Hollander’s a bit, um, challenging.

And if you were wondering, no, he’s not Asatru or Pagan. I know. I’m disappointed too.