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The Race

The Race
By Terry Lynn Pellegrini
©2017

 

From the crossroads I run
Bare feet striking hard packed dirt,
Jarred bones, ragged breath, arteries pumping.
I crash through the waist high weeds at the roadside heedless of the stinging of the nettles, the thorns stabbing my legs.
They follow.
Fetid breath upon my heels, bone white canines dripping.
Watching me with eyes made luminescent by the moonlight.
Terror. They are terror.

I race, away, away, I must escape. No rest, not yet, never again.
They pursue, closer, ever closer.
Their growls and barks echoing in my ears, competing with the sound of my frantic
heart, ragged breath, anguished sobs.
A sound, unexpected, sharp, then the pain.
I feel her scourge upon my back, punishment deserved, punishment meted.
The blood excites them, spurs them on.

I fall.
Down on all fours, then up.
Begging the Gods to aid me, to release me from my torture, from my lies.
A sound of gold changing hands, of delight echoing through the trees.
No aid for the accused, no quarter for the wicked.
They are nearer now, the pack, these Hounds of Hell.
Racing forward, snarling, hunger evident. Their prize. My reward.
A deal gone bad, betrayal, murder, no regrets, evil embraced.

Still I race, legs moving, long past numb.
Head pounding, lungs bursting, my sweat dripping into bloodshot eyes.
I feel them. Nips at my heels, salty saliva flung into wounds by dripping muzzles.
A misstep, a stumble. I fall, finished.
I will run no more. Cannot. I am done.
They are upon me, tearing, gnashing, ripping, feasting.
With my last breath I hear Her laugh.
Justice has been served.

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Keeping the “I” in Witch

It’s Friday evening and you stumble home from another grueling work week. Your brain has assumed the consistency of tapioca pudding and the tightness in your neck and shoulders is showing no sign of letting up. Oh, no.  You suddenly recall that tonight is the full moon. Your magickal mind immediately turns towards ritual and communion,. Your body, however, is definitely unwilling,  What’s a witch to do?

We’ve all been there. Exhausted, stretched thin, there doesn’t seem to be enough time for witchcraft let alone taking care of yourself.  Yet we all know how important it is to take care of ourselves,  Our craft truly suffers when we are ill, run down, and energetically drained.  Still, we want, no need, to be there for our deities, our covens, and circles.  We are driven to practice, to connect with our magickal side. So how do we go about giving ourselves a well-needed rest, combined with a bit of pampering, and still practice our craft?  How do we keep the “I” in Witch?

In answer to that question I have listed below several ways you can give yourself the care and pampering your body and mind needs while still working on your craft.  Many of these require little to no special tools other than yourself and a few items you probably already have in your herbal cabinet or kitchen shelves.  Creating these items with intention and then allowing yourself to indulge in self-care will only strengthen you and your magick.

  • Give yourself an herbal bath:  Create a simple herbal bath with Epson salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oils such as lavender, rose, and sage.  As you add these into the water picture the ingredients taking away your cares and fatigue.  Relax in the warm waters and see the worries and stress sluicing off of your body and into the fragrant water. Arise from the bath feeling energized and refreshed and watch as the waters swirl down the drain taking with it your strife and lack of energy.
  • Meditate: Yes, meditation. It is one of the most beneficial and magickal ways we can pamper ourselves.  Even 10 to 15 minutes a day will make the world of difference in your mundane and magickal energy levels, not to mention the boost it gives to your general well-being.
  • Imbibe of the sacred chocolate: Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a mood enhancer and anti-oxidant.  Magickal, and well, it’s chocolate.  Enough said.
  • Give your feet a good soak and scrub: If a full bath is not possible try a good foot soak and a sugar scrub. I always have a box of Epsom salts and “Mom’s” sugar jar that I have imbued with healing energies and stress relief.  On those stressful days I set the kettle on the stove to boil, set out the foot tub filled part way with cold water and add the salts.  When the hot water is ready I add it to my desired temperature. Then the bliss begins. Let your tootsies soak for a bit then grab a palm full of the sugar. Add a bit of the foot soak water to the sugar then start gently scrubbing your feet. Feel the stress slough off with each stroke, along with any rough spots and calluses. Rinse your feet when done, and as with the bath, watch the worry and stress flow down the drain as you pour out the water.  Ahh, the wonderful feeling of clean feet and no worries.
  • Listen to your favorite “Witchy” music: For me, nothing releases the stress, worries, and daily crap like listening to my favorite music, especially of the “witchy” kind.  My personal favorite, Stevie Nicks.  I turn it up load, sing, dance, and just revel in the beat and the sound.  Before you know it, stress be gone.
  • Indulge in a good cry: Yes, cry.  Talk your Deities.  Offer up your woes to their care. If you don’t work with the Gods then offer it to the Universe. Weep. Scream. Implore. Cry buckets. Get it all out. There is amazing therapeutic benefits loaded into a good cry.
  • Get a massage or Reiki treatment: Body and energy workers are some of the most magickal people I know, whether they realize it or not. They transform, transmute, move and manipulate the energies currently in our bodies,  changing them into something entirely different, something more beneficial.  A great massage therapist or Reiki practitioner will relieve you of your stress and replace that destructive energy with love and peace. If you haven’t had a treatment before I highly recommend one.  Don’t stop at just massage or Reiki.  There are many other healing modalities that are equally as beneficial. Explore and find one that works for you.
  • Soak in a hot tub in the light of the Moon:  If you are fortunate enough to own a hot tub or spa (alas, I am still saving up for this) a glorious soak under a full (or new, dark) moon is a fabulous way to relax and feel especially connected to the Elements and to your magick.  While the jets pulsate your tension away, the Moon will fill your essence with Its energies, renewing your body and spirit.

Life is full of stress, both in our mundane and magickal lives. Work, home, family, covens, kids, and responsibilities, all of these bring us both joy and stress.  How we handle that pressure can be magickal as well as practical. It is my wish that the few simple suggestions that I have made will aid you in placing that “I” back in witch. May your stress melt away and your magick forever thrive. Blessed Be!

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Mabon: Preserving the Harvest

The cooling breezes and turning leaves signal that once again the wheel of the year has turned towards the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon. This Sabbat, considered the second harvest of the season, was traditionally the time when farmers and home gardeners made haste to prepare for the coming winter.  The final seeds sown in the spring are now mature, ready. Golden grains are harvested and ground to flour. The hot summers have brought the fruits of the vine to perfect ripeness, overflowing our baskets with grapes and late berries ready to make into wine, juice, jams and jellies. Apples have ripened in many parts of the world along with pomegranates and early squashes. Harvested, they are stored in root cellars and basements, waiting to assuage the hunger of the cold winter nights.

Yet how many of us truly relate to the reality of this scenario?  The majority of us are city dwellers who do not get any closer to the work of the harvest season than a trip to the local farmer’s market or harvest festival.  Yes, we acknowledge the changing of the seasons with our rituals and circles, but the fear of the coming winters hold no sway. We are tucked snuggly in our city or suburban homes, larders full and pantries bursting.  We watch the leaves fall while sipping a nice California wine, eating Wisconsin cheese and Washington apples.  If the original intent of the season was the harvest and we no longer do so, what’s the point? Why celebrate this season at all if the meaning has been lost?

Harvests come in many forms. For many this season of Mabon has become one of spiritual harvests. Months ago, during the Sabbat of Ostara, the Spring Equinox, groves, circles and covens sowed the seeds of change, both in the physical and the spiritual realms. We planted our seeds with intention, giving birth to ideas and goals.  How did you nurture those seedlings, how did you make them grow?  What did you feed them during the summer?  Were those intentions watered daily? Was liberal spiritual fertilizer applied?  Did the warmth of your thoughts and meditations sprout those ideas or did you leave them unattended? Now at Mabon what does your harvest look like? Did it grow as you envisioned? How does that growth make you feel? Was it all that you expected? Is it ready to harvest? Should you have left it in the fields a while longer or perhaps have not planted it in the first place? Or like so many, did you forget what you had even planted to begin with?

Alas, while many of us will easily reap our harvests a great many in our communities can’t even recall what was sown in the Spring, let alone harvest the benefits. As busy as we all are in this day and age it is imperative to our spiritual harvests to keep records of that which we have planted.  Life happens, memories fade. Trust me, I have been guilty of this as well.  We complete our Ostara (or other Sabbat) rites, go on our merry ways, and forget. We get caught up in the magickal high of the circle and leave, unintentionally forgetting to take stock of the seeds we have just planted. We then neglect to add the necessary spiritual nutrients to our fields causing them to whither and die.  How can we nurture our crops and preserve our harvests if we’ve forgotten their contents? How do we watch our gardens of intentions grow and mature and be secure in the knowledge that our fruits will ripen on the spiritual plane? We write it down. Immediately.

Let’s hand out the dreaded 3 x 5 cards and pens to all ritual participants so they will be able to recall what they have planted.  Facilitators, add lines to the end of the scripted ritual for participant notes.  Our seeds, our goals, will then be made doubly manifest when we take these notes home and “plant” them in our Grimoires, Books of Shadows, and journals.  We will be able to refer back to those notes so as to monitor how our seedlings are growing. They can remind us of our intended crops so we may make the proper adjustments of light, water, and nourishment for optimum harvest.  At Mabon, we then preserve those harvests as we put pen to paper, inking the final words with regards to the quality and quantity of our bounty. We can then enter into the autumn and winter satisfied with the work we have done, ready to rest, ready to plan again for the coming spring.

Preserving our harvests is important but remembering what we have sown in the first place is vital.  By writing down, preserving our cycles of seed, seedling, plant and harvest, we remind ourselves of the beauty, the magick, of the changing seasons. As we continue to walk upon our individual paths, records of our traditions and practices, our sowings and our harvestings, are essential to our magickal and spiritual evolution. It is our sacred duty to preserve our knowledge, to preserve our seasonal and everyday harvests for ourselves and for the future generations of “farmers” to come.

May you be filled with the blessings of the season.   Happy Harvests!

 

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Witchcraft- Why hast thou forsaken me?

“So, you are a Witch.  That’s cool.  I used to be one too.  Now I’m (insert the path of your choice.)”

Cue the blank stare, jaw drop, and the inevitable, “Why?  Why did you leave Witchcraft? How?”

I have had several conversations along these lines. Every single time it has left me flabbergasted.  How do you stop being a Witch?  How does one make the decision to just stop? Why? Just why?

I realize that Witchcraft is not for everyone.  We all have our own paths to follow and sometimes that path takes us places we never thought  it would go. Where I have concerns during these conversations is how casually those I talked to had claimed, then abandoned, the title “Witch”.   Did they truly  understand what it means to be a witch? Was it the notoriety, the cool clothes, or the shock factor that got them interested in the first place.  Did they not have the proper training or were they even trained at all? Let me share with you some of the answers I’ve received when I’ve inquired as to why someone has left Witchcraft.

“Witchcraft is hard work so I stopped doing it.” –Yes, Witchcraft is work. You study, train, practice.  There are correspondences to memorize, rituals to write, books to study. We spend hours tapping into energies, meditating to open our minds, stirring the cauldron of our souls. We create on our own and with other witches. We network with like-minded people through festivals, workshops and classes. We experience, immerse ourselves in and practice our craft daily.  Witchcraft is not easy. But the rewards are immense.

“My spells didn’t look (work, make fireworks) like you see on TV or in the movies”- If I had a dime for every time I heard this one I’d be one rich witch.  While I’ve been a part of some pretty spectacular spells and rituals I have yet to see a big shiny spinning portal open up, sparkly stars shoot out of my cauldron, or someone “blink” from one spot to another.   But if that is what you were expecting Witchcraft to be you really need to put down the remote and get a reality check.

“I found out I couldn’t actually ride on a broom.” –Yes, really.  No words. None.

“I didn’t know that Witchcraft had rules. If I’d wanted rules I’d have stayed (insert mainstream path here). – Witchcraft does not have rules.  Certain traditions may have their own rules and regulations but Witchcraft does not.  If you came to Witchcraft through Wicca then yes, you may have been taught the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law, but these are guidelines, not rules.

My family and friends did not understand my path and ridiculed me.  – I am always devastated to hear that, but it is common.  Being a Witch is out of the norm. Many were taught that it is evil and an abomination.  This can be a difficult mindset to overcome and one many do not.  It takes guts, courage, and fortitude to throw aside the expectations and beliefs that have been drilled into us from birth to spring forth into a new reality.  Its often easier to give in. Much easier.

I waited and waited for a Goddess (or God) to choose me but they never did. –This one is more difficult to address.  Did they try to communicate or did the just expect one of the Gods to just jump in front of them and say “Hey, I pick you for my priest(ess).”  Were they of the “instantaneous, I want it now” mindset? Or did they not really understand the relationships between a Witch and the Gods? Many work for years without hearing the call of a Patron but have the privilege of working with many Deities. Many Witches don’t work with the Gods at all. For everyone it is different.  This is one of the things that makes Witchcraft so exciting.  We strive for connection with our Deities (or nature, the Universe, the All) through meditation and ritual.  They answer us in many different ways, we have but to listen. Carefully and patiently.

These examples are just a few of the most common (yes, most common) answers I get to my inquiry as to why an individual has left Witchcraft, why someone may feel that the Craft has forsaken them. While I can logically understand their positions (with the exception of that broom thing) these answers still leave me hollow, bereft.  I can’t imagine it, tremble at the thoughts that race through my head. How can one just leave Witchcraft? What is the reasoning behind the rending of the witch’s mantle? Why do some leave the Craft even after many, many years?  I’ve thought long and hard on the causes, the reasoning behind those who think the craft has forsaken them and I would like to address these issues.

What I have discoverd is that so many who leave the Craft seem to do so because of a lack of training, of guidance.  It can be scary when you are a newbie Witch to reach out and connect with others.  Finding an experienced teacher/mentor is even tougher. Witches usually don’t advertise.  Students are brought to us by word of mouth. If you are not connecting with other Witches and Pagans then it would be nearly impossible to hear about a good teacher.  Instead the fledgling Witch turns to books, hopefully the excellent ones.  Why this is a wonderful way to learn the basics of Witchcraft for many it just doesn’t work. Not everyone learns the same way. Some need face to face explanations and hands-on practice with a more experienced individual to feel confident in their skills. When they can’t find that person, they try to muddle through with what they have and eventually just give up.  This is tragic.  There are many sincere, talented people out there who would be a great asset to the community but we never connect and their talents are lost.

The second reason is clearly based on unrealistic expectations.  One cannot gauge a spirituality, a craft,  based on the fantasies shown in movies and television. Yes, many of us have used these shows as a catalyst in finding our callings and the Craft, but we truly did not expect that everything would be as fantastical and theatrical as we’ve seen on the big screen. It would be awesome if it did work like that all the time, but we understand that it is Hollywood, not true magick.  Those who leave because of reality of the Craft vs. Hollywood should probably reassess why they wanted to be a Witch in the first place.

And last, the pressure to conform is real.  Good thing Witches do not give a rat’s ass about conforming.  We are an open minded, rebellious, strong-willed, non-conformist bunch.   Yes, we have been pressured by friends and family, laughed at for our beliefs and ridiculed for being out of touch and in a fantasy world. We don’t care. We know who we are, what reality is and dare you to try and change our mind.

It is not easy being a Witch.  Anything worth while is not easy.  I for one shall never leave my chosen calling.  I will, however, always support those who do leave, whether I understand why they choose to do so or not. I will stand by their decisions regardless of how it personally makes me feel. Your life is yours.  I will never tell you that you are wrong in your choices.  I just ask that you show me the same consideration and understanding when it comes to mine.

May we all find our true paths, and be healthy and happy on them. Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

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Darkest Night

Darkest Night
A Poem for Hekate
By: Terry Lynn Pellegrini
©2016

In the darkest of nights, She lights my way.
Phosphorous, illuminating, brilliant one.
Torches held high, I follow.
Through my despair, through my apprehension
She leads me to knowledge, she leads me to joy.
And through my joy, She shows me life and what lies beyond.

Her torches burn through the forgotten fields of my soul.
Scorching that which has died, lain fallow, neglected.
Blackened earth and ash nourish the slumbering seeds of inspiration,
Pushing visions through the parched earth towards the moonlit sky.
I feel Her pull, Her presence quenching my thirst, slaking my hunger.

With Her keys, She unlocks for me the mysteries.
Invites me through the door and into the welcoming darkness I have forgotten.
Her hounds, black, menacing, ever at my side.
Guarding my steps, teeth bared, haunches taut.
Ever ready to protect as well as devour.
And they watch, as fears are defeated and yearnings are satiated.

And when I stand at the crossroads of my life, She comes.
Lighting the path of my existence, showing me the path to my destiny,
Gifting me with the secrets of life, death and beyond.
And I rejoice in the knowing of Her.
Giving freely of my heart, my devotion, my pain and my joy.

Hekate Soteria. Hekate Phosphorous.
She of the three faces. Guardian of the Crossroads.
She who stands as my Mother, my sister, my Goddess.
My teacher, my mentor and my muse.
Hekate. May I live a thousand years in your service.
May you be forever in my heart, my mind and my soul.
Hail Hekate!

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Devotional Fatigue: Identifying Spiritual Connection or Mundane Habit

In the wee morning hours she rises, stretches, then walks softly to her altar. She pauses, centers herself, then inclines her head in salute to her chosen deities.  Murmuring her morning litany she lights the candles waiting in their delicate crystal holders.  With the surety of constant repetition she continues, never faltering in her words of devotion and thanks.  Silence falls as the last candle is lit.  Another moment of contemplation, a slight bow to the Gods in thanks and she turns, ready to begin her day. 

Many of us begin and end our days in such a fashion, with our own daily devotionals.  Perhaps we smudge, cleanse ourselves, before visiting our altars.  We may have a repeated script, a litany, or we prefer a freeform style, saying that which comes from our hearts. We may give offerings, sing, pray, or stand in silent companionship with Deity. But are these daily devotionals merely a habit or are they a true spiritual connection with the divine? Could they possibly be a bit of both? If so, how can we identify when these devotionals shift from the sacred to the mundane, from nourishment for the soul to a hurried duty?

The signs of “devotional fatigue” aren’t always easy to spot. A few “symptoms” of this condition are:

  • Your devotional time is shrinking. Where it once spanned ten or more minutes, suddenly you are lucky to be at your altar for two.
  • You’ve run out of things to say to Deity (this could actually be a symptom of a deeper problem).
  • The words you say feel stilted, mechanical. They’ve lost their emotional content.
  • Your devotional feels more like a chore that you have to do, not something that you want to do.
  • You’ve lost your focus.  Your mind wanders, thoughts drift elsewhere.

Lets face it, even the most devoted priestess or priest may have their days when they are exhausted, ill or distracted. Days when all they can do is shuffle their way to the altar for a brief moment. That’s okay.  We are only humans after all.  But when these moments turn into days or even weeks,  your devotionals have gone from a joyful spiritual experience to oft neglected habit. Stop. Step away from the altar and take some time to reevaluate why you are performing devotionals at all.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I doing devotionals because I feel it is some I want to do or something I feel I have to do?
  • What do I seek from my devotionals? Closer connection to deity? Quiet time with myself and the Gods? A way to start and end my day spiritually?
  • How did I feel when I first began my daily devotionals? How did I feel the first time? The last? How do I feel when I perform them now?
  • How would I feel if I just stopped doing them?

Write down your answers in a notebook or your journal.  Then walk away.  Let it sit for a day then re-read these questions and answer them a second time.  Review both sets of answers. Were they similar on both days or did a day apart show different insights?  Meditate on what you have written to determine whether you wish o try this exercise again. 

If upon review you realize that you have a great need to continue with your devotionals yet have realized they’ve lost a bit of their magick, you may want to shake things up a bit.  Redecorate your altar, freshen it up. Change the time you do your devotionals.  Perhaps you are doing them too early and/or too late for your mind and heart to be truly present. Rewrite your litany or instead speak unscripted heartfelt words. If your devotionals are near and dear to your heart and your connection with Deity keep working on them. Experiment.  Find a new rhythm, a new route to the sacred. You will know you found it when you’ve once again felthe excitement, the spark, the tingle that comes from true communion with Deity. Once you’ve recreated and reawakened this joy, your devotionals will be as they were designed – sacred, spiritual, fulfilling.

What if after contemplation you realize you can’t recall why you ever started devotionals in the first place.  Your devotionals have become nothing more than a habit, and a poor one at that.  Stop. Now.

It’s best not do any devotional rather than give your Gods a half-assed attempt because you think you have to.  Trust me.  They know the difference.  Perhaps one day you’ll wish to do daily devotionals again, but for now, you’ll honor the Goddess, God, Deity, in other ways. That’s okay.  Don’t beat yourself up.  This type of worship just wasn’t right for you.  Keep on your own spiritual path and let your heart guide you on the way.

Daily devotionals are but one path on the road to spiritual connection.  When they are kept fresh and alive they take on a life of their own, inviting you to partake of the sacred. Hurried, rushed, starved for content, they become habit, devoid of connection. With the information found here, and in your heart, may you be able to honor your Deity, your Gods with joy and reverence.  Blessings. 

 

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Sometimes She Whisper

Into the wooded glade you go,
Cast your circle, corners glow.
Stomach flutters, brow beads with sweat.
Into the center, intentions set.
Then without fear you call Her here.
Ears strain to listen, your wish to feel Her near.
But nothing.
Not even a whisper.
 
Arms raised, you call Her name.
In anticipation you expect to hear the same.
But silence enfolds you like a shroud,
You wish for a sign, you wish it loud.
Fleeting anger, disappointment too.
Why doesn’t She acknowledge you?
But sometimes She whispers.
 
In defeat you collapse, tears stain your cheeks.
Was I not heartfelt, am I too weak?
Shoulders slumped, the hot tears flow.
What did I do wrong, should I do more?
You shout Her name, cry out your woe.
Is this it? Will I never know?
Yet sometimes She whispers.
 
A breeze, a rustle, stillness at an end.
Candle flames flicker, sputter, bend.
And in the breeze, a sigh, a sound.
A gentle caress, your soul unbound.
You stand, composed now, tears have dried.
Is that Her I feel inside?
Was that a whisper?
 
In quiet you have found Her, as the wind She speaks.
Your call has been answered, it is She you seek.
“I am always here, I’ve never left your side.”
The voice that whispers comes from inside.
“You are my child and always shall be.
The answers are within, it is there you find me.”
In joy, you hear Her whisper.
 
It is then you realize the key,
Not only fireworks announce the mystery.
It is sometimes just the smallest spark,
That brings the light that fills the dark.
If you wish to seek Her you will find,
You’ve but to open your heart and mind,
Because sometimes, She whispers.

 

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The Awakening

Many times I have been asked as to when I became a witch.  The answer is simple yet complex at the same time.  I didn’t “become” a witch so much as I finally awoke to who I had always been.  I’d like to share with you the tale of my “awakening”.

Life was fairly average in the beginning.  I was born the eldest, the test child, of two loving parents.  They seemed reasonably normal, if not a bit quirky. Little sister came along 18 months after I did and our little family was complete.

I didn’t fit into this ideal setting from the beginning.  So many things didn’t feel right.  I was different. Yes, we’ve all said this a time or two, but I truly was.  The family noticed this abnormality.  They never actually said it out loud, but they knew.  Mom always did her best to treat my sister and I equally yet it seemed forced, stilted, weak.  Dad always put my differences down to a vivid imagination and tried to shrug it off or ignored it altogether. Still it was difficult to dismiss the daughter who heard things, saw things.  A child who knew things before they happened and could read people and places without even being there.  It was trying for them.  It was devastating for me.

This litany of dismissal was crushing.  I questioned myself constantly.  The woman I saw in my room, standing at the door talking to me was she my imagination?  Hearing voices in the water, feeling the emotions in a room, knowing what people were thinking, feeling, these things weren’t real?  As with so many other children, I wanted, no needed, to please my parents.  So I tried to turn it off, stopped talking about it around them. It crushed my being, changed me.

What was curious is that I didn’t seem to have quite the same reservations while I was in grammar school, until about the fourth grade. Until that time the other children knew I was different but thought it was kind of cool.  They would stop me in the bathroom and ask me to guess the number they were thinking.  They began asking me advice on their lives, their families all in the guise of  the Peanuts character “Lucy” with her psychiatrist’s booth. But when I shared the stories of the things I had seen during my nightly travels on the back of Pegasus (my astral guide) and these stories rang so true and were about things I shouldn’t, could never have known had I not been present, they began to look at me strangely.   It was already difficult for me being  skinny with thick lensed glasses.  Top all of that off with a creepy supernatural vibe and the tides turned.   Now they laughed at me, called me names, bounced apples off my forehead, and were generally pre-pubescent assholes. To cope with this, I just stopped talking about it all, took down my shingle and turned off a part of myself.  It seemed to work, sort of.

I became “normal”. I didn’t talk about the taboo subjects, except to myself. I needed my friends and family to love me, to accept me.  I wanted this normalcy so much I caused myself to become frightened of all the things I used to embrace.  I quivered at the thought of Halloween and the “scary” things associated with the night.  I needed a light on when I slept (to be honest I always liked it on – it helped me to see when I got up to pee). I’d plug my ears or I pulled the covers over my head trying to drown out the voices that surrounded me. I pulled in, stopped riding my winged astral companion, closed down Lucy’s booth and did “normal” things.

Flash forward through Junior High and High School.  Things were okay, but just.  Typical teenage angst, mostly.  I still felt different, was different. I still had the dreams, heard the voices, felt the spirits. I kept this to myself as much as possible. Even so I was still the weird one, was still made fun of, bullied and picked on. At one point it was so intense I wanted to be a nun to get away from everyone.  I wasn’t even Catholic! I did have strong feeling for Mary, the ultimate Mother but that’s another tale.  I’d been so busy repressing everything for so long that I wanted t make it go away, just stop.    I wanted to run so far into the opposite direction of who I was that I contemplated a cloistered existence.  Fortunately, I realized I was just trying to escape, my home life, my school life, myself, and never followed through on this plan. I kept muddling through, graduated and went to work.

I began to let it creep back in again.  Now that I  was an adult, I felt I had a right to feel whatever I wanted to feel, be what I wanted to be. I still wasn’t quite sure what that was, but I wanted to see where it would take me. The “knowing” crept in, calling to me. No longer did I try to quell it, but allowed it to wash over me.  I was leery of its powers but knew its time was now. The power began seeping between cracks, escaping the confines of the dungeon I placed it in. It was a tiny drip at this juncture. Small, yet insistent.

Once again the urges I recalled as a child sprang forth. I felt needs that hadn’t been met for years.  I fought them, lost, then gave in to, the need to call to the gods of sky, heaven, earth.  I began again to talk to the moon, to the night.  I opened to all that was around me.  And began to feel whole.

About this time I began dating my future husband. Perhaps it was his love and acceptance that allowed it all to truly blossom. I no longer felt the need to hide who I was, what I saw, what I felt. The “awakening” was close, but was still years away.

Years went by.  I married that wonderful man and together we had two amazing children. I went on a search, a search for meaning in my life and found a religion I thought would allow me to forever be with my children and husband, a religion that seemed open and honest. It was not. It repressed and suppressed all those things I had worked to let loose again.  I knew for a certainty when we were attempting to sell our current house to buy a more spacious one and was standing naked under a full moon calling an unnamed Goddess for assistance that I was definitely not where I needed to be. We moved to another town and never bothered to leave a forwarding address with the church.  Chapter closed.

For me, this is where it gets interesting, and a bit cliché. The kids are older, we’ve been watching such shows as Buffy and Angel.  I was really getting into these shows even  though I knew that what they portrayed was just fluff and “Hollywood”.  They did renew my interest in finding out who I really was.  I started doing a little research on the side, looking into Witchcraft.  It was only after watching “Practical Magic” for the first time and explaining to my husband what type of brew the aunts were creating on the stove and his response of “how the hell did you know that?” when it came together.  I was a Witch. Always had been, always shall be.

After several days of silent brooding my hubby asked me what was wrong.  To this day I recall standing in front of my closet and looking at the carpet, taking a deep breathe and saying “I’m a Witch.”  His response was priceless. “It’s about time you figured it out.”  Did  I mention how much I love this man?

This was my “awakening”, my reconnection to the true me.  The Witch that resides deep in my soul, my DNA.  From that day forward I stopped hiding from myself (my extended family was a different story all together), my close friends and my Gods.  I re-awakened the Witch in myself and have never looked back.