I’ve been praised for my courage in exposing myself online like this. Others have asked why. For me, it is definitely easier to communicate online. I have time to consider my words and responses. I can spend half an hour or more composing what it might take you 5 minutes or less to read. I am also not talking to a face. For whatever reason, that helps. Some of these things would be hard to say to faces. But finally, I don’t think much of this is a surprise to most of you who really know me. Some things other people knew before I figured it out. Others…well, if you didn’t know them by now, you just weren’t paying attention!
As I’ve said before, there aren’t too many examples easily found online of this type of self-exploration work, even though it is a near-requirement of my faith and others. I hope my postings can at least make others feel less timid and more confident as they approach their own inner journeys.
And now on to today’s piece of me, which should be glaringly obvious to absolutely everybody at this point. I’ve never been in the broom closet much, even when I was getting serious backlash from family and friends about calling myself a witch. Yes, I know people were talking about me behind my back. I know my mother had all the books she could find on “Satanism and Your Teenager” and similar subjects. I know what was behind the gifts of Bibles that suddenly started appearing as graduation gifts. Being a witch, though, really is an essential piece of me, one that was just waking for me to wake up and realize.
My first exposure to Wicca was in high school. In 10th grade, I helped man the school store along with other choir and club members. (It was our main means of fundraising for all the trips we took.) I want to say it was Sam Denman that I was working with that day, but I can’t find him to verify. Regardless, the guy I was working with left his backpack open on a table, and there was this amazingly bright blue book peeking out. I asked if I could look at it, and then I spent the rest of that hour glued to the book while the poor guy handled the store by himself. He let me take it home, and I devoured it. That book was Buckland’s “Blue Book”, and I was lucky to actually finish it before my mother finally got too offended by the giant pentacle on the back of the book and banned it from the house. (That edition had a white pentacle that completely covered the back cover. This was not good for unobtrusive reading!)
I was so glued to the pages of that book because everything I read was like remembering something I had forgotten. Everything made sense. It made the world make sense. It was like coming home. I will never forget that feeling. That sense of “rightness” about Wicca has never left me. I am a witch. I am Wiccan. I am home.
I was solitary until recently. I don’t remember exactly how I acquired all my books, since occult shops could be hard to find back then. I know I met other pagans in college, but in Denton, it can be hard to take five steps without tripping over one; it seems to be a place of power. Although I always longed to join a group, I was never invited, and I didn’t know how to find one. Everything was always so closed. I never knew many other real-life Wiccans outside of college. I read a lot, and I participated some in online chat rooms and forums. I did a self-dedication for myself before leaving college.
It wasn’t until a little over 3 years ago that I finally found a religious home. Oddly enough, it came through my brother, who was new to the area at the time. He was dating somebody who invited him and us to a Mabon event. It was an open ritual taking place out in the country at somebody’s house. We went and took all the kids, and that was the first time I was in circle with Rob and Áine. While I felt a little unfamiliar, just because I had never participated in a group ritual before, it was still a little like that first experience with that first book: like coming home. I’ve been to every ritual with Crossroads that I could get to since. I’ve grown more comfortable with group ritual and working, after being solitary for so long. I’ve learned that I really do fit in, that here I am not weird or strange, but just one of many. Here I belong.
I am Wiccan.