Thoughts on The Spiral Dance

April 22, 2010

You know, when I first read Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance, I skimmed over some of it. The visualization bits, some of the how-to. I was just reading it for… something, but not because I was fully interested in the Goddess. At that time, I was still Christian. I still clung to those thought forms, that way of thinking. And so I was not fully open to Starhawk’s words in this book.

Re-reading it has been, for me, almost transformative. I’m coming more into my own in terms of what I believe in, and it’s looking more and more like pantheistic Dianism. I’m not sure about that, and I’m really starting to think the only label I need is “witch”. That one works for me.

Starhawk speaks in this book about the use of the circle as a visualization and meditation, and it’s very beautiful. I’ve always thought of casting a circle as something formal and unneccessary; I definitely don’t cast circles very often. Of course, their use in creating sacred space is something I fully believe in, but I didn’t really think about the applications of that for me. It didn’t seem… hmm. How can I express what I mean? The creation of sacred space is as easily done without a formal casting, I suppose. I felt it was more like play-acting, casting a circle, and I always felt silly doing it. I may reconsider my views on circle casting, and try various methods.

Something else she talks about in The Spiral Dance is witchcraft as a method of seeing, as “starlight vision”. This is, as she describes, a different method of knowing. It is the method of knowing that is deeper than everyday knowledge — as witches we learn to walk across the Veil between worlds, or to manipulate that. This was an excellent way of expressing the Veil, one that I think is very poetic. And, after all, so much of witchcraft is poetry, isn’t it? Poetry in plant, stone, word, and action.

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