As above, so below. This is a common phrase in the Wiccan and Pagan traditions. I thought I had a general grasp on the meaning of this phrase, but I decided to research it today when I decided to use this as the material for my post.
I was raised Roman Catholic, but was placed in a Fundamental, Born Again Baptist school for my elementary years. This ended up creating a ton of confusion for me in the religion department. Many would think that they are similar in that they are both Christian religions so they should be more compatible and shouldn’t have had that negative of an impact on me. But it started as early as 4 years old for me. I hadn’t started Sunday School for the Catholic faith yet, but I was already in my elementary school and being influenced by the Baptist faith. When the pastor at my school spoke of being saved and asking Jesus in to our hearts in order to go to Heaven, I wanted to make sure I was saved, so I did that one day at school when I was 4. I came home very proud of myself and told my Mom and Dad that I was saved and would be able to go to Heaven now. And my Dad’s response to that? In a yelling tone, “That’s crap. We don’t believe that. You don’t have to ask to be saved to go to Heaven. Who told you that?” As someone who was already very afraid of my Dad, you can imagine the kind of impression this had on me. I didn’t understand. I knew nothing about the Catholic faith yet. I only knew what I was being taught, and then I was yelled at when I got home for doing what an authority figure at the school he sent me to told me was a good thing.
After that scenario, things only got worse during my stay at that school through 6th grade. My Dad would constantly negate much of what they preached at school and there were many conflicts between moralistic values between the two religions. The pastor of my school had three children. One of which was in my class. All three of his children were not the most well behaved, which only gave my Dad more fuel for his fire. The son that was in my class picked on me horrifically in 5th grade and tried pushing me down the stairs and taught me sorts of choice curse words in 6th grade. His two older daughters were pregnant by 16 and 18. So all my Dad would speak about was how hypocritical the Pastor was.
Of course, my Dad failed to ever recognize how hypocritical he is as someone who claims to be religious yet remains married to my mother to this day and carried on a gay relationship with the same man for over 10 years until the man passed away, in addition to any other flings he had.
My moral compass is not made up from either of these sources. It comes from within and is not based in any religion. I believe it is engrained in my genetic makeup (since I am adopted) which was my saving grace through all of this confusion and hypocrisy through which I was raised.
When I got to college, I began to explore various religions and spiritual traditions. I found a journal that was the size of a text book but blank inside. I titled it a “Book of Shadows” just like the Wiccans used as this term resonated with me. I used it to research almost every religion there is. From Buddhism, to Islam, to Wiccan, to Judaism, to Rosacrucianism.
The conclusion I came to after all of this research is that all of the religions, at their very core, all had the same main tenet or principle belief. The Golden rule. Do unto others as you’d have done to you. There were many different ways of expressing this, but it was all the same exact meaning. And they all believed in some higher power than themselves. That’s it. That is the basis of all of them. And that was what drive me religiously and spiritually through my 20’s and 30’s once I was put from the confines of my parents scrutiny.
Right before my 40th birthday, I realized I needed to make changes. One of the things that came to me as an insight was that I needed some sort of ritual. I have begun in recent months to have a nightly tea during which I have a personal ceremony of sorts. It does follow a sort of Wiccan type ritual, but it definitely has it’s own personal feel to it. I still have Christian roots in it. Each day of the week I have certain saints assigned based on what the Wiccan influences are and what patron Saints that are dear to my heart that match up with those influences. I say specific prayers to those saints on those days. I also say the Serenity Prayer in closing every time. I also have a pocket rosary which I intend to use when I have something that I need to atone for. I open each ritual by casting a circle and then making an invocation to either Ariadne or Pan, depending on whether the day of the week is a masculine or a feminine day.
Ariadne and Pan are my chosen God and Goddess. Ariadne is the name I gave to my clarinet back in high school because it is a mythology story that always resonated with me. I never really analyzed it back then, but now it makes total sense to me. Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus, much in the way I felt abandoned as someone who is an Adoptee. Dionysus rescued and loved her. Little did I know back then who my husband would end up being. He is someone who did love alcohol and was a little edgy and I felt as though he rescued me from my abandoned life. He also ended up being very similar to my birth father once I found my birth father a couple years ago. All crazy coincidences, yet something I was naturally drawn to. They say girls marry their dads, and I did just that without ever even having met mine.
During my ritual I use a wand from Harry Potter, corny as that might be. When we went to Universal for my 40th birthday and I got a new wand while we were in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I got the wand of Fleur Delacour. I chose this one for two reasons. First because I liked the design of it the best, and second because she embodied natural beauty, and confidence in my inner beauty shining forth so that I may feel more confident in my outer beauty is something I am trying to work on.
I also have on my altar as the center focal point, from Harry Potter as well, Fawkes the Phoenix, to represent rebirth. This is one of the main precepts of my entire journey right now and I want it to be the center focus of all that I do.
During my ritual I do alot with candles and received chakra balanced candles from my step daughter for my 40th birthday, so I burn the appropriate one to the corresponding day of the week and use an app to balance that chakra during my ritual. I am also starting to collect other candles that are just like the chakra candles and used for different purposes such as balance, motivation, prosperity etc…I am collecting different spells to help me dispell negative energy, shield myself from negative energy, aid in gaining confidence etc…
I fill out my daily inspirational journal and sometimes will write in my prayer journal or other journals and I read my nightly daily inspirational during this time. I sometimes pull a tarot card if I have a question that needs answering. I am trying to combine various religions, traditions and concepts that resonate in me to help me connect to my inner spirit.
So as I’ve been re-exploring some of the Wiccan traditions, and came across the saying As above, so below, I took it more as another interpretation of the Wiccan Rede, or a WWJD type of concept. But as I researched it, I came to find that it is actually much deeper than that. It is actually more the basic foundation of what the pagan and Wiccan religions are founded on. It is that the universe is the same as God and God is the same as the universe. Everything is one and the same. This is why pagan religions are so connected to the earth, because everything is one. Humans are an earthly manifestation of God or other dimensions and other dimensions and God are divine manifestations of humans. This is why Wiccans believe in magic using energy and that if it is willed in the mind, it can be made so, because everything is interconnected. If it is something that can be made or done up above, it is something that can be made or done below. The power of the mind is endless. It is science tifically stated that we only use about 10% of the brain’s capacity. So, perhaps these practices are elevating the capacity of the brain’s usage.
Most Christian religions think Wiccans are devil worshippers and evil. And sure, some may use powers for evil, but in my experience, many Christians can also be extremely hypocritical and evil. It is not what you believe, it is your actions. I choose to be a good person, make the best decisions I can, get my advice from my conscience, which is the voice from up above which runs through my thoughts, and I use the practices of many religions and traditions that make me feel spiritual.