I was raised in the church. My entire world was encompassed by it, and no other weekend was more important than this one… Easter. The holy grail of Christendom… a 3-day powerhouse (after palm Sunday a week earlier, of course) of religious fervor.
I’m not going to detail how it started as our holiday – that’s documented well enough. I’m not even going to expound on the hypocrisy of celebrating the death of a man who was essentially homeless by spending ridiculous amounts of money on new clothes, toys, and candy. (Hey, anything that brings me more chocolate… I’m not gonna bitch too loud) … No, I’m gonna leave all that alone.
Instead, I’m going to talk about Good Friday – and how every year it serves to prove a Universal Truth… and how I really just figured that out.
You see, because of the way I was raised so fully in the church, there have been certain things that were rooted solidly in my mind… so much so that the residual effects aren’t necessarily all gone, regardless of how far I’ve come. It’s a long and slow process to ‘un-do’ indoctrination… especially when it was begun at birth.
One of those ingrained “wth” points has always been Good Friday. I cannot, in my memory, remember a Good Friday that was bright & sunshiny… they’ve all been overcast & rainy. Every. Single. One.
Now, the church would have its followers believe (at least the one in which I grew up) that this is not a coincidence… that it is, in fact, the legacy of such a dark moment in the history of the world that forever more it is set to remember, even within nature itself, the pain and anguish of that loss.
… Kind of like the story of how before the crucifixion the Dogwood tree grew big enough that the wood was capable of being used for crosses, and was used for his… and then forever after it wouldn’t grow as much, for shame of what it had done… and that its flowers developed the red stains of the nails & crown of thorns.
And for many years, while I knew that the idea that nature itself was annually replaying those events was ridiculous, there was a part of me that kept thinking… but *why* – why is it always dark & raining?!
Then I realized… just because I and millions of others don’t believe it, doesn’t mean that *they* don’t believe it. We, as pagans, fully embrace not only the power within ourselves, but the awesome capability of the power we hold as a collective – when we focus that energy & power on a shared goal or intent.
That’s what’s happening on Good Friday.
Millions of believers across cities, states & nations, believe that on that day… it’s supposed to be dark, depressing, and sad.
And so it is.
Though they do not know it, and would likely be horrified or vehemently deny it if they did, they are, collectively, casting a spell. … Which works – only further proving that the power is in us whether we acknowledge it or not. Anyone, with proper focus and motivation, can make things happen.
I have to think it’s lucky for the rest of the world that it’s limited to one soggy day a year… because to quote one of my all-time favorite movies (and likely yours as well) –
“And this is what comes from dabbling; I mean, you can’t practice witchcraft while you look down your nose at it.”
But, at least that’s one less remnant of my indoctrination clinging to me.
And that’s something to celebrate.