A Dedication is a specific pagan ritual where one dedicates herself to her deities. This is the premise under which I was dedicated on March 18, 2005. The Dedication ritual I received was not a dedication to one specific tradition of Wicca. In many ways, I think of it as a dedication to oneself and to one's own beliefs.
The ideas for the following pieces of writing came to me some time before my Dedication. I was pondering some very important questions, the same questions that were to be posed to me during my Dedication, and two very short answers came to my mind as responses to two of those questions. During my Dedication I kept these answers short because I specifically wanted people to think about my answers after the Dedication ritual (hehe... hey, if I was going to be doing work for my Dedication, those attending could do some afterwards too!) The answer to the first question was "The Hidden and the Revealed". The answer to the second question was "The Known and the Unknown". In giving these answers though, I already had some forethought as to what they meant. Later, having more time to clarify my thoughts I wrote the following two pieces, "The Hidden and the Revealed Goddess" and "The Known and the Unknown God".
THE HIDDEN AND THE REVEALED GODDESS
Many, many years ago when you and the world was still new to us and we were a young people, we cared for you and built between us a bond of perfect love and perfect trust.
We cared for the land and the animals too. We nurtured and harvested what you gave to our keep. We listened to you on the breath of the winds, in the crackle of the fire, in the rushing of the riverbeds, and in the quiet steadiness of stones. We heeded your teachings through all times of sorrow and happiness. We learned from you and kept you safe within our hearts. You seemed such a wondrous mystery to us. Over time, we passed on what you shared with us to others, to our young, and to many others who would follow us in our ways. We had nothing but love and peace in our hearts - for you and for the world we found. We lived as this for many years, revering you as one of us, only more wise, though we could not see from where this wisdom came. We gave to you much over the years and we grew and prospered. We became a people strong and brave in your teachings, holding close to us all you taught us and always keeping you safe within our hearts and our minds, never to be forgotten through many generations. We were bound to you in perfect love and perfect trust.
Then came a time when the world was not so new anymore and we were not so young. There were many in the world that would seek to break our bond to you and force us to bond to another. They denied the wisdom of our teachings - denied you. They could not learn from you for they could not hear you on the winds, the fire, the riverbeds, nor in the silent stones. Nor did they want to. They were busy with power and control that was not meant to be theirs. They were busy with taking from the world what was not given to them. Of our bond to you, they could not understand. "Deny your faith," they said, "and you will be spared. Repent for your sins. Another will take care of your needs IF you follow the commandments." We did not break our bond to you and some of us paid dearly for it, never denying our bond to you. Then it was clear what was needed of us. To keep you safe and to be able to pass on your teachings, we hid ourselves from those who sought to change us. To them, we were one of them, but inside we knew different. Those of us who still remained hid you deep inside our hearts and our minds, waiting. Waiting while we waited for a new era to unfold again. Waiting for the time like so many, many years ago when the world was first new to us all.
That time is come upon us now. Though you were seemingly forgotten, others who knew you have come forth and have shared your teachings with us. In the deep recesses of our minds and our hearts you have burst forth like a new spring - a new spring from which we shall drink, drinking in knowledge and wisdom as before. The danger has passed and no more shall pay dearly for our bond to you. No more shall we hide in the shadows, no more shall we hide you. You are still as wondrous to us as when we first forged this bond, though you have never truly left us. Your wisdom and knowledge is in our blood and has been passed on through the generations regardless of any spoken words of you. Your time has come again and we again listen to the breath of the winds, the crackle of fire, the rushing of the riverbeds, and the quiet steadiness of stones. Once again, we will heed your teachings through all times of sorrow and of happiness. Once again we nurture and harvest what you once gave to our keep. Again, we will care for the land and the animals. We are a people strong in the old ways and the world has become new to us again. Now, after years of hiding, we speak of something that has never left us. We renew our old bond to you. Bound to you in perfect love and perfect trust, you will never be forgotten. You ARE the Hidden and the Revealed.
Copyright C.J. Chow February 15, 2006
THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GOD
Many, many years ago when we were a young people, we lived in harmony with you. We knew you then as our protector, and we were bonded to you - in perfect love and perfect trust.
You once nurtured us and protected us from all danger and fear. Then, you taught us how to protect ourselves and nurture ourselves. You taught us the hunt, taught us how to track our prey, and taught us to be thankful, for the death of one life shall sustain ours. In this, you also taught us to live in balance with other creatures. You taught us to celebrate life and death. While you taught us, you walked this earth with us, appearing as mortal as we. You once shared in our feasting and celebrations, joining us in song and merriment. You were a teacher and a lover of music. You were a healer and you shared with us these arts, teaching us so that in time we may follow in your path. This was how we knew you, and we lived with you like this for many years. We revered you, and built shrines and temples to your honour. We strove to ensure that your shrines and temples were well cared for - and you gave to us in kind. You kept us safe and protected from what horrors we imagined might come for us - never knowing that these might come in your name.
Then came a time of great change. There came those who did not know you as we did. They claimed you were unknown, that you weren't knowable, although we knew you. They did not believe that you once walked amongst mortals, that you once shared in our feasting and celebrations, drinking wine and ale as we, succumbing to earthly desires. They told us we were heretics and blasphemous for speaking of you the way we knew you. They did not understand that our ways were your ways, that you taught us our ways. They did not believe we could heal as you could. Then they kept us from your temples and your shrines. We were no longer allowed to show our reverence, and we could not keep you in high honour, but we never broke our bond. Then they told us to whom we should pledge ourselves if not you, but it seemed not too unlike you, only told to us in a different light. It was you, but a misunderstanding of you, a perversion (though we were told our understanding of you was the perversion). Thus, it was over time we kept quiet and kept you in secret. You became the unknown, although to us you were always the known. We did know you, even if these new people claimed we could not. Through many generations we kept up our pretense of not knowing you, but taught others what we did know of you. We hoped that the time would come when we could speak of you as we knew you, without fear of being labeled heretic and blasphemer.
That time is come upon us now. Though it may seem that we no longer know you, that you are indeed unknowable, teachings from those who once knew you passed on and are now being shared without fear. Now is the time of the known and the unknown - what others don't know of you and what we know of you. While we cannot claim we know everything about you, we can tell the stories we have been taught over the many years. Knowledge of you comes to the surface, though deeper unknown wisdom lies hidden beneath. One day, you will again walk this earth with us. Once again, we will feast and celebrate with you and in your name. Others will learn to live in harmony with you and in balance with other creatures. We will teach others as you have taught us. We remember the known past while we look to the unknown future. Now, after many years of keeping silent, we speak of what we knew. We recall our bond to you. Bound to you in perfect love and perfect trust, you will be known again. You ARE the Known and the Unknown.
Copyright C.J. Chow September 3, 2006.
This third piece was written to show how the two pieces above fit together, for there is a story to be told and the conclusion to this story remains to be seen...
THE GREAT MARRIAGE AND SEPARATION
Many, many years ago, we cared for you as our Great Mother and our All-father. You spent many years with us caring for us, nurturing us, and teaching us.
Together, as All-father and Great Mother, you lived in harmony. As She gave us life, He kept us warm. When She cried as the rain, He raged as the lightning and thunder. Together, you created a beautiful symphony, and we would listen to the wisdom of our Great Mother and our All-father as you danced and sang around us.
Together, you taught us. You taught us in different ways and of many different things. For many years, we spent learning from you, living in harmony with you and you lived in harmony with each other. You were bonded to each other in the Great Marriage, and we in turn were bonded to you as your children.
Then came a time when we were torn from you as your children. Great Mother was taken away from us, though we kept her deep within our hearts. Then All-father changed and became indifferent to us, though not of his own desire. Without Great Mother, All-father is not whole. Without Great Mother, All-father is alone. We remained, however, to keep Great Mother alive through us, and to remind All-father of who he used to be. During this time of Great Separation, we have taught others in secret what we know of Great Mother and All-father. Through many years, we have kept in our hearts the hope that Great Mother and All-father may one day rejoin each other.
This time is soon upon us. All-father is returning to us as he once was and Great Mother has been revealed after long hiding in secret. Their teachings have returned to us, and we can now teach without fear. The time of our Great Mother and our All-father is returning. The rejoining is coming, and it is time to feast and celebrate for their return. Together we shall sing and make merry all in Their name. Great Mother, All-father, your children await.
Copyright C.J. Chow September 3, 2006.
This page copyright C.J. Chow July 4, 2008. This author asserts her moral rights over the above work.