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There is something hidden in the foundational teachings of Wicca, a secret if you will, which is hidden in plain sight for all, granted that one has eyes to see. It's as plain as the nose on your face, clear and obvious if you look with the right perspective, perfectly obscured without effort by our progenitors.

It's the perfect method of hiding something. You make it plain as can be, hiding nothing while confusing the uninitiated. So obvious it couldn't be discovered by outsiders, so simple many within the craft will never see it, and so blatant it's hard to even imagine it's a secret at all.

Let's say you didn't want to tell the whole world the inner workings of your spiritual beliefs, they are very personal after all. Let's also say you didn't want just anybody to realize those inner workings, whether initiated into your spirituality or not. Perhaps you believe some won't understand, or that you would be persecuted, laughed at, shunned, deposed or ridiculed. Whatever the reason, it remains a good idea to hide certain things.

Now, if you wanted to hide something, where's the best place to do it? In plain sight, right? If you're an outsider looking in, you wouldn't be looking for the obvious, no, you would assume the hidden secrets of witchcraft would be obfuscated, obscured and made difficult to discover. And if you also wanted to hide this secret knowledge from those within the craft, those who are not ready, it would be propitious to make it stand out, while also seeming too obvious, so only those who are ready for the knowledge will see it.

Yes, I'm stalling here, but we'll get to the meat soon enough. First I want to make it clear, I know it sounds like I'm talking this up and it'll only be a letdown when you actually find out what I'm talking about, and it probably will be. Once you hear what I have to say you're likely to be in one of two camps. Half of you will scoff and say 'That's it? That's nothing special', and I wouldn't blame you for saying it. The fact is, if you're not ready, you won't get it.

The people in the other camp will likely have already figured it out by now, because they're ready for it. Once you realize this secret it becomes so unquestionable you wonder why you didn't see it before.

Okay, let's get to it.

One of, if not the most, foundational tenets of Wicca is reverence for nature, but not only reverence. We are taught to align our very lives with the cycles of the moon, the seasons, the spiral of life and death. We have no sacred texts binding us together, no scripture or holy writ. Our sacred writings are embedded in the very nature of reality itself, the material embodiment of the gods, the totality of natural existence.

Nature. We worship the gods through nature, attune to the natural cycles which surround us, all so we may grow closer to a more perfect state of being. But the word nature does not only apply to those things which make up material existence, it has a second definition.

Nature. n. 1, The material universe; the forces at work in the universe. 2, The essential character of a person or thing.

Indeed, the second definition is so much more important than we realize. Robert A Heinlein, in his novel 'A stranger in a strange land', coined a term which is widely used in Sci-fi circles, and applies to what I'm talking about. Grok (pronounced like croak), which means to fully understand something. And I mean really understand it. To grok something is to know what it feels like to be it, just as we know ourselves, only more so.

Imagine knowing exactly what is means to be a lightbulb. To be a hollow shell of glass, with a small arrangement of filaments, made of steel and tungsten, a screw on your bottom and occasionally having electricity flowing though you so you will illuminate your surroundings. Imagine that. Can you? Is it even possible? That's what it means to grok something.

And that's what it means for Wiccans to attune to nature. Not the trees, not the rocks, not the streams or lakes or clouds or stars, but to understand the deepest nature of things. Things as they are, have been and shall foreseeably be.

Yes, the trees are important, as is everything else the gods made, but reverence for a thing without understanding it is meaningless. We must strive not to let ourselves grow complacent, only thinking of preserving things as they are, or how we think they should be, but understand the nature of a thing's existence from the most basic level up to the most complex.

Some things only exist to be destroyed. Some things have outlived their usefulness, or will soon. But we won't know this until we truly, deeply, understand them. And wouldn't it be just as much of a crime to force something to live when its time has passed as to kill something which needs to survive? What if it needs to step aside so something else can have a chance.

We'll never know until we begin to truly understand the nature of things, instead of simply loving it because it is. We need to learn how to grok.

I, Patrick, Wiccan

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