Let naught but love enter in, and let naught but love leave this space. It’s an incantation that is used in many Wiccan Circles. It’s not something all of us hear every time, but it is something most of us recognize as Wiccan culture.
Love is the one thing that we all crave as humans. It’s the reason why we do what we do every day. We love someone, so we get up and fight the good fight and try to make the world, or at least our part of it, a better place. The church is also built on this principle. We love the Lord and Lady, and we want to share that love with Them. We want to provide a place for others to share in that love. We want to receive the love back, and know that They are there and They are pleased with us.
Wicca has many facets and many principles; all that can be applied in positive or negative ways. In Wicca we learn that there is no good or bad; only the balance, and our judgments about it. Whether something is good or bad to you doesn’t mean it’s good or bad for someone else. We can take a principle, and utilize it to empower ourselves and grow, or we can use it to control and subjugate others. It is each person’s responsibility to apply the principle correctly to each of her life’s circumstances and improve one’s reality. It’s not always easy, and the older you get the bigger the challenges.
When working with others in the craft, it’s important to remember that all of us come to Wicca to give and receive love. Sometimes we lose sight of that and get distracted by the need to feel powerful, in control, respected, even feared. Sometimes we get attached to an outcome and get hurt, discouraged, or angry when things do not go the way we think they should. We see our brothers and sisters as opponents to our goal, and our hearts turn away from love. It is at this time that our magic turns destructive, and chaotic. Without love as the baseline we can get very far off point and very hurtful in our actions towards others.
My ministry is about love. I truly believe that everyone needs just a little more love in their lives, and with that, they can overcome everything. Aphrodite is one of my patrons, and Her voice often speaks loudly in my head of forgiveness, understanding, comforting hugs and also of championing those who are suffering. Aphrodite is no weak Barbie of a deity. She is powerful in both how she gives and how she takes away. She flows toward the grateful and pulls back from the entitled. She has taught me many things about humanity and how love can mend even the most broken of situations, and how the ego corrupts and destroys what love makes beautiful and sacred.
Aphrodite is the Maiden aspect of the Great Mother Hecate. She is the light-hearted, waxing moon growing in power and greatness. Yet, because She is an aspect of Hecate, She also teaches us through suffering and darkness. When a lack of love exists, the world is a cold, hateful and fear-filled place that requires a constant fight to stay alive. When love exists, beauty, pleasure and happiness are everywhere.
Yet, love is such an intangible thing. What is that magical combination that makes it exist for some and not for others? Why does it sometimes seem so elusive, then at other times, so overwhelming? The answer lies within ourselves. Love is a state of being. It resides in our own heart or it doesn’t. No one can make us feel anything that we don’t want to feel. Have you ever tried to cheer someone up who was determined to be angry? It’s really hard to do. People want to say others “make” them feel a certain way, but we actually “choose” how we want to feel about the things that happen to us.
You can take two very similar people and challenge them in the exact same way. One person will see the challenge as an opportunity; the other will find it defeating or demeaning. What is one person’s treasure is another’s junk. The world will not lay a garden at your feet, but it will lay the foundation for you to grow one. The Gods give us what we need, not necessarily what we want. If we don’t like what we’re getting, it’s up to us to examine the situation and make it work for us to the best and highest good of all concerned.
Aphrodite challenges us to find love. She doesn’t just bestow it upon the unwitting. She makes us work for it to get it, then work harder to keep it. Relationships, like gardens, will not thrive without care and nurturing, open-heartedness and reaching out to others and within ourselves to plant the positive and weed out the negative. We all are responsible for the love, or lack of it, within our lives. Aphrodite taught me, “If you want more, give more. If you want less, give less.” If you’re not getting the love you seek in your life, look inside for the judgments: the harshness, the blame and anger that you are holding on to. Do you have forgiveness? Do you lack understanding? Are you attached to an outcome, and enraged that you don’t believe that you are going to get what you believe is rightly yours? Have you reached out to the other person and asked for what you want or need?
It takes courage to walk the path. It takes courage to be in a state of love and respect for all our fellow men and women. It’s hard to wake up every day and fight the good fight for the things we believe in, while realizing that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. It takes courage to face our enemies and realize that we are only fighting ourselves. Good things come with hard work and sacrifice. With time and discipline, we see the positive results of our efforts and are happy with ourselves. The love of the Goddess, and the love of community struggles against the needs of the ego and the desire for power and control over others. Love cannot exist when the primary question is, “What’s in it for me?” Love grows when the heart is truly open to giving and receiving in balance.
In Wicca, we keep the balance. Love is the Law. Let naught but love enter into your heart, and let naught but love leave your heart. In this, you will find peace and happiness upon the path.