Coming Alive and Fostering Hope

 

Submitted by Board Member, the Rev. Tanya Trzeciak

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

~Harold Whitman

I came across this saying while searching for something entirely different.  Coincidence?  Like my favorite television character always tells his team, I don’t believe in coincidences.

I don’t think we have to ask ourselves what the world, our country, or our neighborhood needs.  We already have a good idea.  The question should be ”what are we going to do about it?” We just celebrated the official beginning of spring and along with that occasion our thoughts turned to warmer days, trees bursting into flower and leaf, flowers pushing up through the brown earth and more birds singing outside our windows.  With spring always comes the promise of beauty and peace…hope of better things to come.

The political climate doesn’t look as if there is a bright, beautiful future for many of country but we have to foster hope.  Hope that we can stay alive and become more observant and involved in what is happening around us.  As pagans we believe in cycles…the Wheel of the Year, the cycles of life, death and life and the cycle of darkness and light.  We may be in the winter of despair but like the coming of spring after the darkness of winter, there is hope and light.  We must keep the light alive.  We must come alive and resist the darkness. What makes you come alive? What gives you hope?

Being Pagan Has Never Been Easy

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Contributed by the Rev. Tanya Trzeciak

Being a Pagan is not nor has it ever been easy.  For a large part of my life I had to stay in the “broom closet” with employers, many friends, and neighbors.  I had to hide the fact that I did not believe in one god almighty who was cruel and punishing. I was a solitary practitioner and did not seek out others for fear of being ostracized or,worse, fired from my job.

When I finally came out of the closet, some friends shied away out of fear while others asked questions.  The questioners embraced my strength to honor my beliefs while the others feared that I might be evil.  These people did not want any explanations or want to understand why I believe what I do.

However, I am a white female and I could hide who and what I was quite easily.  I didn’t have to wear a pentacle or goddess pendant in public.  I didn’t have to do or say anything to profess being a pagan.  I could practice what I believed in private and continue a public persona that didn’t upset the status quo.

My friends of color are not so lucky.  How do they hide the color of their skin? How do those who have to wear head scarves hide who they are?  How do they let others know that they are not bad people?

Society is so quick to judge a book by its cover and will not listen to explanations or even take the time to understand anyone who is even the slightest bit different.  We are all living beings and it is because of our differences that the world is such an awesome place.  Do we really want to be just another brick in the wall?

Summer Solstice

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Contributed by board member, The Rev. Tanya April-Trzeciak

The summer Solstice is my favorite Sabbat. Since I love the sun and bright days, I can enjoy a few more minutes of this precious light during the longest day of the year. My spirituality is nature based and I find my connection with all things more focused during the summer when life is teeming all around. The Hummingbirds are defending the feeders they claimed as their own; all the birdhouses in my gardens are filled with young; flowers are blooming everywhere I turn and I’m hoping for a good crop of vegetables soon. What more could I ask for?

As I sit on a bench under an evergreen, I meditate and offer thanks for all that I have. I have been blessed with a house that is surrounded by trees and shrubs, and neighbors who also respect nature. Waking up these summer mornings to the birds singing and the roosters from the neighboring chicken farm are like music to my ears. Some might find these sounds so early – just before dawn – an annoyance, but I find them beautiful and a nice reminder that nature is sharing her sacredness with me.

In this time of growth and abundance we should reflect on all that we have and celebrate how the “seeds” we have planted in our lives are coming to bloom.

Blessed Be.

Beltane and Spring

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Contributed by board member, The Rev. Tanya April-Trzeciak

The Merry Month of May.  Here in New England May is a month for joy.  March and the Vernal Equinox offer us hope but the strong winds and rain, even snow, often don’t hold much promise.  Then April comes along with more rain and warmth but there is still the threat of cold winds and snow.  May is the time when that promise of hope is finally fulfilled.  The trees are more than just tiny buds, there is more color than just the Forsythia yellow and the birds are feeding their young and singing the praises of the beautiful weather.  We find the earth warming so we can get our tomatoes in and many have been harvesting the peas for a few weeks now.

For Pagans May is full of joy and celebration where wehonor the fertility of the earth and all living things.  Flowers that bring us the luscious fruit are pollinized by the insects, peas and radishes are being picked and we begin to think of all the happiness we pushed aside during the cold dark days of winter.  May truly is spring.  May shows us that the cycle really does continue.  There are no more false hopes and the promised warm days that we had in March and April are truly here.  No, we have honest to goodness days of warmth and sunshine and nights that are not freezing cold.

We may not celebrate May as some of the ancients did with the Great Rite (Divine Marriage), but we do celebrate with singing and dancing and playing games.  The light of the bonfires cleanses away all the negativity still holding on.  Celebrate May and be joyous.  Blessed Be.