I was a late bloomer in a lot of respects. I came to my formal Wiccan path in my thirties, after years of knowing that I was "different," as many who read this also probably did. I hadn't found the right fit, and read all of the "wrong" pagan books (for me), so I got a late start as a Wiccan. It follows to reason then that I got a late start as a vegetarian, too. Leave it to me to take my time "landing" anywhere. I am passionate about both of these aspects of my life, but because of my lateness in embracing vegetarianism, I have an excellent perspective on how becoming meatless affected my practice as a Wiccan priestess, and it's this that I'd like to share.
Having added vegetarianism to my life in just the last two years, and having been a practicing initiated Wiccan for 7 years, I have taken notice of interesting developments in my skills and my enjoyment of the path since going meatless.
This is not meant as a diatribe on why anyone else should be a vegetarian. I am blissfully in love with a very talented priest, my husband, who is about as "meat and potatoes" as a guy can get, and I cook for him almost every day. He says he's just fine, thank you, and his super-ninja priestly skills make him very popular with the local priestesses (the pagan hotness doesn't hurt either, I suspect).
It was, in fact, my very verbal vegan teenage daughter who insisted that I watch videos and read articles on animal slaughter techniques and how the animal-based food industry in its present form harms our environment. Being a pretty staunch Gaian, I was surprised and bummed to learn these things. Gone were my illusions of happy cows who roam the pastures of country farms and get slaughtered quickly and relatively painlessly. Sigh. Sure, one can get free range meat that is humanely treated. However, it occurred to me that I might just try to go without it altogether. In an interesting experiment in which I bonded with my vegan offspring, I learned to cook without meat or dairy and just added meat to the dishes for my husband. It was fun to cook with my daughter and it made her happy that I wasn't "eating the flesh of murdered animals."
At first, there wasn't much change in my spiritual experiences in circle. Whether I was leading or participating in a ritual, I just did what I always did, and it was cool. Then, after several months of vegetarian (almost vegan) eating, I did a "drawing down" of Hecate, and when I came back to myself in the Samhain circle of my home coven, I saw some shocked expressions. Apparently, the Lady changed my whole countenance, speaking with full acquisition of my whole body and voice, resulting in a profound and moving experience for those who spoke with Her. I was an experienced vessel, but I'd never had such a complete invocation experience before. Of course, I didn't relate this at all to my change in diet. I just felt blessed that the energy on Samhain night was so "right," and went home to sleep it off.
Soon, though, I began noticing differences in my meditation experiences, my dream work, my astral projections, and my energy work. In my professional practice as a Reiki Master/Teacher, my sessions became even stronger and more effective.
As these things manifested in my life, I pondered the fact that I felt “lighter,” yet more grounded than when I was a meat eater. This confused me a great deal, as everyone tells you that meat is so grounding. But there it was, undeniably true, that my abilities to “take off” and to stay grounded had both vastly improved since my conversion to vegetarianism. Other changes that I have noticed include clearer thought, better energetic sensitivity, honing of my ability to scry, and improvement in my abilities related to an ongoing study of psychometry. Now, it’s possible that some of these improvements are due simply to practice and study. There’s no doubt about that. But what I’m getting at is that there has been a discernable refinement in my entire skill set and experience of my spiritual practice since becoming meatless.
So there you have it, folks. It’s just one person’s experience, but I thought it was important to share with you. If you haven’t tried it, I sure recommend that you give it a whirl!