Imbolc is always an exciting time filled with new beginnings for me. It was last Imbolc that I dedicated myself to writing a vegan-pagan book of shadows (for public consumption) and I am about 100 pages into that exciting yet overwhelming work.
This Imbolc Gwen and I both joined the new class for priestesses/priests in training (yes, the PITS) at the Temple of the Feminine Divine (TOFD) in Bangor. This is a three year class that leads to ordaination. Moreover, it is a chance to work closely with other members of the temple, studying and doing rituals or other projects (like divination fairs, panel discussions, pagan pride contributions, etc).
I feel just as excited as I did before I went to study with Laurie Cabot last March. The thrill of that was to learn directly from such an influential pagan leader. The excitement I have about joining the PIT class is to make more deeper connections with pagans in my own community. This has already begun and I am so happy to be moving forward. We started with a class dedication and potluck on the day after Imbolc, and I am already enjoying the program immensely.
The group is respectful of vegetarians but I believe gwen and I are the only vegans in our class (of about 18 people). I am not sure how many vegans there are involved in the whole temple, but I look forward to writing newsletter articles, contributing vegan items to the potlucks, and sharing my own beliefs in whatever ways seem most comfortable and effective. Paganism is a diverse and opinionated community but that means there should be ample room for we vegans too!
TOFD is a branch of the Interntional Fellowship of Isis. Our Temple was founded by musician Kay Gardner as the Iseum Musicum and after her passing the temple's work has continued to develop. Kay also founded the women's spiritual singing circle Women With Wings, which is very connected to TOFD. Gwen and I sing with Wings whenever we can also.
I look forward to sharing my continued adventures, both as an individual vegan pagan and as part of a group. Blessed be and hang on; spring is coming! - Leslie