To understand me and where I am on my path today I must first explain where I came from, and how I found this path.
I was raised Catholic by my mother. My father is Lutheran but he does not attend his own church he just goes with my mom to Christmas and Easter mass as well as attending all of the sacraments that my sister and I did partake in. I was very active in the church, or as active as a child can be. I attended CCD (Sunday school) type classes one night a week and was part of the Youth Ministries. I played a king bringing gifts to Jesus on his birthday. And I crowned Mary at May Crowning Ceremony that celebrated her conception of Jesus.
I loved the ceremony of the church and the fanfare and the way everything felt like the old doctrine that was handed down for the last 2000 years. Oddly enough it was also this that I hated about the church. I hated the way that women play a less superior role in the community. I hated the stories that my mom told about the way figures in the church had treated her, but most of all I hated the guilt. I did not agree that a child no matter how they were brought into this world was already filthy with ‘original sin’ that something that some one did thousands of years ago now clouds this little being’s life. I hated that the church require so much money from people as their sacrifice to the Lord.
I began to be aware of a new hunger growing within my soul, a want to know more about this fantastic world created by God or whomever. I began to go to church and focus not so much on the faith itself but from what I could read under the whole act. It suddenly became important to me to hear the music not as praises to the Lord but as a gift from God that we are able to express emotions through a tune like the birds. The Sacrament of the Eucharist where we symbolically eat of Jesus’ Flesh and Blood suddenly became a gift of nutrients needed for survival. Then I finally made the largest leap I had coming, and that was to look back at the May Crowning Ceremony that I performed. I remember feeling a calling at that time. At the time it frightened me because what else would be calling to me at that moment alone with Mary, but to become a nun. I did not want to be a nun so I pushed to the back of my head and it was at this time of seeking the truth in my own way that I realized, and now believe it was Goddess calling me.
Goddess knew I was unhappy with what these Holy people called faith. She knew I could be a great shining example of her in this world and it was then that I started to look into other joys my new-found path might bring to me. At the time, my closest friend was starting to dabble in magickal ways. She had a tarot deck that I could not put down and we regularly held séances. I look at this as just kids play like telling ghost stories or playing Bloody Mary in the bathroom mirror. Never the less they awoke a need to know the craft even though I did not know what it was at the time.
When someone asks me how long I have been in the craft I tell them about 14 years or since I was a freshman in High school. At that time I had already solidified my beliefs as a lover of nature, a talker to the animals, and I liked being called a witch. I was still struggling with my Mother and the Church, as it was now time for me to take the sacrament of Confirmation within the Catholic Church. I refused knowing that that was not my path and that was the idea behind confirmation was to confirm your commitment to the church. Instead I read any books I could get my hands on Checking out books from the library and reading till close in bookstores. I was learning a lot, or so I thought. I was also fortunate enough to have several of my friends who wound up on my path. We were a weird bunch in high school and the occult often appeals to the strange. It is a stereotype, but it is true at least in my experience. I had friends who were anywhere from just tarot readers to ones who were claiming to be priestesses at that time. I never checked their qualifications so I never knew how much was serious and how much was for attention. I found a group to practice with on the ‘holidays’ and we got together to spin what we could when we could.
After we graduated my group still got together when we could most of us were off at college so it was mostly summer and Yule time activities. We practiced in any secluded or not so secluded place we could find and we made some pretty strong magick even in our naivety. Finally I stumbled across two people who I felt were the real thing. I was working fast-food at the mall and sure enough I met two people that felt genuine to me. Nate was a free spirited kind soul that was raised in the craft by his Mother, and Jason was powerful and regal. This became my new working group.
It was 2 boys and me and it seemed right at the time. I loved them deeply and the magick grew strong within us. Nate taught us new ways of looking at things and what it was like to be reborn a pagan child. This is how I really felt was that I had found my way and wanted to look forever upon the world with new eyes that have not lost the wonder and luster that happens to people who grow old within their own souls. We ran to the woods and practiced love of the earth and her gifts. We were unstoppable and inseparable, that was until I got married.
When I married my husband I moved 500 miles away from my little circle. This threw me back into practicing solitary worship. I was in the heart of the Bible Belt and there was not a whole lot of ways I knew of to contact other pagans. There was a metaphysical store in the town I lived in for a short time. It was open for about 6 months until through some tricky real-estate dealings they closed down. I went back to my old ways of hitting the library to see what I could find and driving 62 miles to go to Barnes and Noble. Because of my lack of resources (and I am sure I could have tried harder) I began to learn in the purest sense.
I went to places where I could be alone and listen to Goddess talk. I spent time in the Cemetery under the old Oak trees and I went and sat among the animals at the Zoo, or out into the woods. I surfed endlessly seeking more and more information. But most of all I refined my thoughts as a pagan and as a witch into much of what I am today as a pagan.
Unfortunately I also started to be even more biased against Christians as a whole at this time. I felt they were responsible for the closing of the only new age store in the town I lived in and for all of the slander I read in the papers. This was the same time that the Ft Hood TX, Witches were in the spotlight. There was some big stink that some one had raised that some US soldiers were also witches and there was a senator (Barr-(R) GA) that felt “if the Army was to allow Pagans to do silly things like leap over fires then we may as well be issuing sacrificial animals to soldiers who are Satan worshipers too”. And his opinion was how silly it was that Withes should be allowed to serve our country. I realized that my husband (also a pagan) was a soldier just like these and that this frightened me. Needless to say this was something that just fueled my anger towards Christians and their ability to blow stuff out of proportion.
I had the nerve to discuss this with a woman who was one of my teachers at the time. She was one of the most incredible people I have met in my life and she was a Christian. She was Black and Blackfoot and had brought up in class that she knows what it is like to walk down the street and be afraid of being killed because there are places in the country, that this is a likely scenario for black people. I told her (after class of course for I did not want this to fall back on my husband) that I do have a glimpse of what that was like as there was a time when people were killed for being a witch and that I fear that ever being the case again. She thought this was one of the greatest things she ever heard. She was so incredibly supportive of me and embraced me so that I again started to realize that we are all climbing the same hill it is just what path you take to get there and in the end the path does not matter to anyone but yourself.
I began to see people not for whom they worshiped but mainly just how they worshiped. I feel that at this time was when I was able to let go of some of the restraints that kept me from growing in Goddess. I now possessed the knowledge but I needed to put that knowledge to use and bring my thoughts and desires to be closer to Goddess to fruition.
I began attending Dragonfest in 1999 and this also helped me to grow and now I had an entire community that I could lean on and grow from. This was a place where everything I had read, absorbed, or just thought of myself, suddenly began to breathe and walk about. I could attend classes to learn more I could host classes to teach what I knew. This was to me also a way to get back to my roots and bear witness to the ancient knowledge unfolded. Through the years I have attended classes on singing, drumming, pagan rites, pagan rights, and mead making. In 1999 I attended a class on sacred massage. Suddenly another light went on in my head. I felt a calling to be a Healer.
After attending two different schools and finally settling down and getting the work done I graduated from Colorado School of Healing Arts in December 2003. I was a certified Massage therapist and it was a whole new world I could see blossoming before me. I wanted to know more, to help everyone, and every thing. In one class we had to write our dream portfolio. A pamphlet to sell ourselves written in the future as if we had completed all of our goals and finished all of our studies. One of the biggest things that I worked in to this project was my want to know hypnotherapy and Reiki. I am so fortunate to have been able to at least check one of those things off of my accomplished list.
I have been a part of many on-line groups gathering knowledge for years when I was invited to a woman’s house for an open blue moon ritual. I am speaking of course of Miss Estella Willowroot whom we all know and love, and the (could be world famous) Coven of the Goddess. This is where I finally feel I have learned the absolute most. But most of it has been about me. I have gained very close friends and we have truly grown together in the knowledge of each other and Goddess. This is where I learned Reiki and where I have found Goddess on the most intimate level.
As I look back on my path a see a vast series of hills and valleys. A land filled by miracles I have experienced and traps that I have cleverly avoided. It stretches a very long way but I can see where it began. If I look ahead of me there are a few things I see clearly on the horizon. Attaining my second degree within The Coven of the Goddess is now standing before me and just ahead I see expansion of my self through Goddess in having my own practice and helping others though her healing. I have learned much along my path but I truly feel it is just beginning. I cannot see the end of it and I am sure Goddess only knows where that end is. I hope to never stop learning and I hope to finds along the way a lot of the things that feel I am missing such as basic herb and stone lore. I want to grow in my divination abilities and I want to be the best shining example of her in this world.