Before I just into the topic of my post, I'd like to take a moment to mention Robert's "C" post over at Doing Magic. I always enjoy reading his blog as it offers an escape from my own paradigm.
He begins by plainly stating that he's blogging drunk. Which always promises to be interesting, no matter who it is. Robert and I go back a few years and in all that time I've only seen him mildly intoxicated once, but that was at Jason Mankey's Morrison Ritual at PantheaCon, and it's pretty much required etiquette.
Robert and I have always seemed to be on opposite ends of the Magical spectrum, and while we have had our differences, we've never fallen short of concurring opinions. In Vino Veritas "In wine [there is] truth" as the saying goes and I found his "C" post to be quite on point. In fact I didn't find anything I disagreed with at all. But I especially liked his closing assertion "Find the teacher that encourages you to find your own way." This really stuck out for me because as different as our paths may (or may not) be, when you enter into our tradition the first thing we do is give you a "Compass and a Flashlight." So I'd like to make a toast to common ground, cheers!
Ok, so my "C" post is on the Cingulum.
I wrote a bit about it a few years ago here in the Length of My Cable Tow, the gist of that post was related to the Masonic Cable Tow and those similar attributes within our Coven. When surfing the Internet on the topic I found it very popular for Wiccan traditions to color code their waist cords in accordance with their degree or grade system. But just like everything else in our tradition, we do that differently too.
While we do utilize a three degree system, that's not the main focus of our Craftwork. We offer ourselves as a secondary tradition, wherein the main purpose of the tradition is simply Fellowship and Celebration. It's more about getting together with like minded people and enjoying both ritual time and space, while celebrating the diversity of every individual. We literally require everyone to find their own way, hence the "Compass and a Flashlight."
But we do offer a structured system in which to function. We wear robes and cingulums too, but from the newly initiated Wayfarer to the third degree Grand Poobah, we all wear white cords. The reason is simple, it's not about rank, it's about commitment. The cingulum is your umbilical cord, your personal connection and tie to the Covenant. It's white to represent the purity of your connection and your obligation to the Covenant, and the purity of our love and trust, because that is the most potent ingredient you could ever hope to invest in your Craft.
There was a day when I would have rolled my eyes at the fluffy bunny rainbow and butterflies of Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, but having experienced the true power of this meme I now hold it as a most sacred aspect of the Craft and wear my cingulum with honor and pride.
Thank you Lord & Lady for all the rope, Blessed Be!