Friday, January 13, 2012

A is for Almandola

Last year my friends in Fresno picked up the sword and led the charge for Central Valley Pagan Pride Day. I was very happy to hear the news and eager to contribute to the cause.

One of the first tasks was raising funds and the first event was a yard sale. I collected books from my local community and showed up early that morning to deliver them. It was nice to see everyone again after such a long time.

People came by in a slow but steady trickle most of the day while we sat in the yard and socialized. A few nicely dressed men with nicely dressed smiles came by, but seemed more interested in all of us than any of the items being sold. When we saw the pamphlets we immediately knew that they had come to save us.

As prothletising goes they were very respectful, but being Pagans we're all seasoned veterans when it comes to declining such invitations. More than one friend said, "Oh no thank you, I go to St. Brigid's Academy."

I very much enjoyed that approach because of how polite, effective and honest it is. I myself have also found it be enjoyably effective. The statement is always interpreted by any mundane person as "oh she's Catholic," and no one ever goes around trying to convert the Catholics. I've noticed that no one goes around trying to convert anyone from the other mainstream monotheistic religions, but we Pagans always seem to be fair game. But the irony here is that St. Brigit's Academy is a Wiccan religious organization, and I can find no fault with allowing those men to leave with their false assumptions. Many times it's the best way to avoid conflict.

Last Ostara I rented a Bunny costume for our community ritual, and base on the date requested the lady behind the counter with the rather large cross around her neck asked, "why so early this year? Easter isn't for another few weeks," to which I replied, "Oh it's for a pre-Easter celebration," and I left with her best wishes.

Although the men moved on to the the next house on the block they remained in our conversation. We talked about the assumption that St. Brigid's is Catholic and how I often use Mill Creek Seminary the same way in similar conversations with similar people. Slowly the conversation of reciting accounts of attempted conversion swayed into experiences related to openly wearing a Pentacle. At a time when I felt it was appropriate to contribute to the conversation I pulled out my Almendola pendant, another reason some people assume I'm Catholic, from a distance.

The Almandola is the official emblem of Veritas Wicca, our Mill Creek Tradition and our organization. The Vesica Piscis is a very old symbol used by nearly all cultures or faiths in some fashion. The fish bladder or "pocket" happens when you overlap two circles. To us, these two circle are the physical and the spiritual realms, and the vesica piscis is the product of their union. The Chalice and Blade of course represent the God and Goddess, their masculine and feminine energies, and their union and balance. The Pentacle rest upon the chalice which also represents the procreative womb, the cradle of life, wherein the five elements are interwoven to produce form.

I'm quite proud of this piece, I designed it myself and we have them custom made for members of our tradition. I like being able to wear something I made, something very spiritually meaningful to me, openly without fear, and without any of the negative reactions, attitudes or feedback you experience with wearing a Pentacle.

Before handing my pendant back to me, my friend stared at it for a moment and said "Woah you wear the Great Rite around you neck! that's so cool." Yes I do, and I'm quite proud of that too.

Thank you Lord and Lady, for your Divine Unions. Blessed Be.


Livi said...

What a beautiful piece of jewellery and it really is wonderful that it's so special and means so much because they're all individual.

I agree that it seems to be the "disorganised" religions that get hit on for being saved, I guess they figure the rest are being saved by their own appropriate people? Or maybe they're just too far gone?!

Jeaux Raynebeaux said...

Yet another great blog, and this one made me laugh as well as nod in agreement.

Have A Blessed Week!

Keltikmystique said...

Love the pendant! You have every reason to be proud of it... great design, a beautiful representation!

Brenda said...

Wow! Absolutely beautiful! First time I've seen anything like it. Thanks for sharing!


Nichole said...

I really love the pendant. Symbols are more powerful if they mean something special to you, and yours is very awesome.

AstraeaSapphire said...

This inspires me to create my own unique piece of jewelry. I know you came up with the design, which I love by the way, but where do you get the pendants made (so that I may do the same with my own design)?

WitchDoctorJoe said...

@ AstraeaSapphire,! Ask for Harry, tell'em Joe Nichter referred you. They do great work, we have had Coven rings and other custom pieces made, they're amazing!

AstraeaSapphire said...

Thanks so much!!! :-)