A Wiccan 13-Step Path
by two unnamed Witches 1
2. We come to believe that the Goddess and Magick, outside and within, can restore our Balance and Will, so that we may feel whole again. 3
3. We will become open to receiving help from the Goddess, and from others who want to understand.
4. We name the Darkness and the Light; the weaknesses and the strengths, within us, and recognize where they have become disruptive; we realize that ______ cannot fill our void or restore our Balance.
5. We seek to restore Balance, and learn to let go of that which disrupts us.
6. We make a list of ways we have acquiesced to oppression and repression, and how this has caused us to harm ourselves and others.
7. We will say NO to these oppressive and repressive ways, and attempt to live in Balance.
8. We become open to change, and realize that it is necessary to cultivate patience.
9. Having experienced these changes, we continually seek Balance in our lives through our connection with the Web of Life.
10. We continue to be conscious of our Will, our actions and our thoughts; acknowledging our mistakes, and enjoying our successes.
11. We use the events life brings us as lessons for growth, and accept our mistakes as part of life.
12. We believe that we are doing the best that we can, in the Now, and this is enough.
13. We accept ourselves the way we are, trust ourselves, and deeply realize that health, happiness, freedom and love are Her rituals.
1. The authors choose to remain unnamed at least in part since they feel that their own current inertia in these matters renders their own need for credit trivial. These steps are listed as suggestions based on the spirit of Charlotte Kasl's 16-step program; use or adapt at will. 2. Fill in the blank yourself. Alcoholism, or simply any facet of one's life one has difficulties dealing with.
As a pagan, I had serious issues with some of AA's 12 steps, which can be found here: http://www.aa.org/. Now, I am by no means bashing those 12 steps. They have helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people over the years. But, let's be honest, they really are not designed for pagans, atheists, or other non-Christians.
3. The words in Step 2 and Step 3, "the Goddess" may be substituted with "the gods", or with the name of any specific divinity. Indeed, the steps can be adapted for just about any spiritual persuasion.
I personally had a very hard time with the 3rd step : "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." I wasn't hung up on the terms: God vs Goddess, I am perfectly capable of making that adjustment, it was the turning my will and my life over part that I couldn't get my head around.
As I understand my goddesses and gods, they really don't want my will or my life. Those are the divine gifts that THEY GAVE TO ME!! They want me to do well with them, and to do good, but they are my gifts to do with as I will. Saying that I wanted to give them back, even just for caretaking, felt like I was insulting the Goddess. Worse, it felt like my thinking when I was looking for an excuse to keep drinking: "This is how I was made, I must be meant to be a drunk."
The idea of following that step, to me, felt like ducking all personal responsibility for making myself a better person. I wanted the help of the Goddess to stay sober and to make myself a better person, but I knew that it was my battle to wage, and my own little self that had to do the work; I couldn't just say "Here, take me and make me well."
I do understand that is not the intent of Step 3 in AA, I am merely saying that's how I interpreted it. And since I am the person who has to live my life, that interpretation at that point in time, was very crucial! Step 3, on this 13-Step Path just resonated with me: "We will become open to help from the Goddess, and from others who want to understand." This is exactly what I was looking for: help becoming the best, ok maybe not the best, but definitely a better person than I was at that time.
Once I found these steps, my sobriety was no longer such a struggle. I look at these steps almost every day, and think about how I can better live by them. The things that disrupt me, that take away my peace, I let go of. Frequently, that means making amends, even though amends are not specifically called for in these steps. That is a decision each person must make for themselves as they reach that point in time.
I currently have 3 years and 9 months sober, and as time goes on, I occasionally find myself remembering old hurts or inexplicably feeling guilty. At those times, I look at these steps and at my recent actions and I can tell, with a clear mind, if I need to change something in my life, apologize for something I've done, or just acknowledge the bad feelings and then let them go.
Although I still have some things about myself I am working on changing, overall I can say that I have come a long way. My sincerest hope for this blog is that it can help at least one person in one small way.