Witchcraft Plays the Long Game

I’ve been doing this Witchcraft thing for a long time, now. Many would ask me, why witchcraft? Because it works, and it isn’t a choice. I tried to focus my life elsewhere, and I made a respectable career for myself – the kind of success at mundane things that made my papa proud, but it felt like slow starvation.

Before too long, the old adage was proven true: You can take the girl away from witchcraft, but you can never take the Witch out of the girl. Or something like that.

Wandering the Path of Witchcraft ~ Photo by Heron Michelle

When I made my first dedication to studying a “year and a day” of lessons in witchcraft, I stood at an altar of my own making, and said these words:

“Spirit! Great Weaver of all things! I seek to know your nature. Ignite within me your fires; wash me clean of doubt; blow my mind. I dance to your rhythms with earthen shoes and the starry heavens tangled in my hair. Show me the way! As I will, it is so. Blessed be.”

Uh huh. That is exactly what I asked for, and damned if I didn’t get it!

It is important to this story, to mention that when I got serious about my studies, it was prompted by the book Wicca: A Year and Day, by Timothy Roderick. When I first plucked it from the Barnes and Noble shelf, it was hot off the press. Holding it’s satin-y cover in my hungry hands, I felt the first gonging of the cosmic school bell.

I worked through the self-guided lessons in this book, as well as a few others. A year later, I self-initiated and claimed the identity of Witch as my own.

Wicca: A Year and a Day by Timothy Roderick Screenshot from Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing Website

I’ve just passed the twelfth witchaversary of that dedication, and I’m here to report that my fire still blazes, and Spirit never ceases to blow my mind. I have NO DOUBTS, that Witchcraft is objectively “real,” and is correct for me. Each sabbat, I’ve found my way to the crossroads. Each year, I faithfully engage in the Great Work of magick. I’ve since taken vows as a Priestess, in service to the middle world.

What started out as a nebulous yearning, with mere glimpses into the “supernatural,” has since become a lifestyle of wonderment. In my new life, the magick and mundane merged into a happy marriage of whimsy with practicality.

Perhaps what I’m trying to say is this: Once you know the nature of the Spirit, all your eyes are opened. Then you simply notice that your life was always saturated in miracles. When folks say they are “Walking the path of the witch,” it implies they’ve learned to walk in awe; therefore, whatever happens, it is all awesome.

Woman with pointy hat and staff of witchcraft, looks back over the path she's walked.
Witch at the Crossroads, surveying the long path behind her. Photo by Heron Michelle

The Divine Universe always provides exactly what you need, when you need it, whether you like it or not.

If I pay attention, very obvious clues will lead me one step at a time to the correct destination. As long as I remain open and flexible, beneficial things are bound to happen. Mind you, I said “beneficial.” Not pleasant. Not happy. Not easy. Any witch will tell you that “awesome” doesn’t mean “great.”

dictionary.com says:

awe·some (adjective) Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear. Example: “the awesome power of the atomic bomb”

Witchcraft Plays the Long Game

Every year at Imbolc I ask that “my personal will be in alignment with Highest Divine Will.”  After all this time, I know full well that I have no clue what will come my way next, but I do trust that whatever shows up is the correct stepping stone to take.  I do a lot of Divination to make sure I’m not careening off the rails, but the answer is almost always:

YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT – NOW GET TO STEPPIN’!

Case in Point: How the right book found me right on time.

Last autumn I “liked” the Facebook author page of Timothy Roderick, a Wiccan priest and Clinical Psychologist who’s written books for Llewellyn Publishing for over two decades. It took a microsecond to do. He was running a book-giveaway drawing for folks who joined during that time. By what I believe to be divine intervention, I was selected.  When he let me know I’d won, I’d completely forgotten about entering, but I responded with deep gratitude. His work made a big impact in my life.

Screenshot of Dark Moon Mysteries cover by Timothy Roderick from the Llewellyn Worldwide website

I just went back to look, and found this line in my message to him last October: “I’ve been in a bit of a personal crises of faith lately, and then you tell me I’ve won this book. Somehow I feel that a lesson is in there for me that is timely. Looking forward to it.”

It took a little while of amiable communication between us, and a few dropped balls on both ends, before it arrived several months later, but I didn’t mind. Not to sound ungrateful, I was tickled pink to be in communication with the very man who’s work initially kicked my witchy butt into gear! But, for the book, I was in no hurry…it didn’t much matter when it arrived, I naively thought. So many unread books on the nightstand…plus, I own a witching bookstore…technically, I already have several copies of all his books…that had 9 long years been RIGHT THERE within my grasp, and without my notice.

Again, in the scramble of the Yuletide rush, I’d forgotten it was on its way. After the new year, it arrived with a lovely inscription. Mr. Roderick mailed it JUST AFTER I’d begun my lunar work about what my next Great Work intention should be. He is also a Priest, and I know that he was motivated according to highest Divine Guidance.

I added the book to the teetering pile on my nightstand, and there it collected dust for a few more weeks. Now, that I’m here just past Imbolc, and digging into the research phase that only began last Saturday, the book catches my eye in that undeniable way that an omen speaks… gong rings the cosmic school bell.

When something is a message, it stands out from all the background noise with a kind of reverberation that arrests all my senses; heart rate rises; breath catches; blood pounds in my ears drowning out everything but the message; the object of interest is suddenly all I can see, and all I can think about. I feel the rush like a lightning bolt up my root to blast open my crown. Its a chakra shocker, to be sure. ~cackle~

gong
*Gong* Rings the Cosmic School Bell

I call that gong “The Cosmic School Bell” because when it rings, the focus of the lesson at hand will NOT be ignored. School is in session, so pay attention! At this time, I know I am meant to read this book. I just KNOW that answers to my current questions lie somewhere in its pages.

What can I say…WITCHCRAFT! It can be a wyrd experience, but if you keep treading the path, doing the hard work, bravely facing the shadows even when detoured you through the briars, it is for your benefit. You can’t quit in the middle. You can’t sit down in the mud and cry because you discover there are dark and scary places inside yourself that demand your loving attention. The only way through the dark night of the soul is FORWARD ESCAPE!

Turns out that is what Dark Moon Mysteries, is all about.

SHAZAM, my people! SHAZAM!

I got as far as page seven before I stopped to write this blog. Seems I should share this passage. Perhaps y’all need to hear it now as much I do:

“…human experience and common sense show you that you can’t hold on to the white light forever. Nobody can. The world we live in us not complete happiness, rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns. The search for happiness and the search for perfection are two separate courses. Happiness is a frame of mind that you can strive toward and attain. Perfection is your natural state of being. It is where you are and how you are right now: mad, sad, glad, afraid or neutral. This is a difficult lesson to accept because most western religions have taught us that perfection is something unattainable on Earth. Because of this, you may think your personal darkness is somehow a mistake… But in our mystical, earth-centered (or pagan) definition of perfection, darkness is actually a part of it.” Page 6-7.

The moral of this story:

In Witchcraft, the Divine Universe plays a long game, so cease second-guessing, or rushing to judgement. If the reason for things aren’t clear in the moment, just hang on a hot minute. When you open yourself to Divine Guidance, you can trust that what you need will find you at the correct time. Just play along and try to enjoy the ride. Oh, and write everything down in your journal.

Keep on, keepin’ on, and things will work out in the end.

Blessed be,
~Heron

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