It was roughly a year ago when I tagged along with my husband to this gym thing. I guess I thought I would watch the hour-long workout, but ADHD kicked in the moment the class started. So I left. I walked the tiny city we lived in at the time. The sky had started off blue when we had arrived there; the sun was beginning to set so all those reds, pinks, and purples were beginning to flood the horizon.
I came upon a parking garage as the wind picked up. The sky had grown grey in just a few minutes while I had been out exploring. There was a complete blackness to the sky in the near distance. It was moving quickly with the wind. I climbed to the top of the garage because what better place to experience what was coming?
At the top, my view was unobstructed. To the west the sky was a surrealist painting, full of colors. And to the south a great black monolithic storm was just rolling right in. I always think I’ve only seen a sky like this in dreams, and then I become witness to the beauty of it, and I remember.
At this point I was only just coming into my witchery. The on again, off again of my path was in its waxing stage, but this cycle already felt different. I had come to know the name of my Goddess but she wasn’t mine in that moment and I was not hers, not yet.
I enjoy prayer. You can call it anything you want really, but when I talk to a deity, I call it that. So there I was on top of the tallest thing I could gain access to. With the clearest view of a sky, alive with change and transition. I’m just talking to the wind, the sunset, the beast of a cloud engulfing the sky, and Hekate. In my uneducated discussion I found the words. It was as if I were guided by something deep and ancient.
The thunder roared in the distance like a fierce friend. You know the type. They have so much energy and strength that most living things show some form of reverence. In no time, the thunder was accompanied with her lightning. It struck across the sky, as if answering my queries as I spoke. This was the moment I was born Hekatean.
Let the Rain Fall Down and Wake My Dreams
I claimed my devotion to Hekate. And as I did the black cloud, now completely overhead, let loose all it had held back for just that moment. I let the rain pour down on me. Without concern for my soon to be drenched clothes. I laughed at every strike of lightning, assured of my safety in that moment. Everything was magick: the electric charge to the air, the cooling water on my flesh, and the sense of a baptism provided by the earth itself.
While baptism is typically a Christian rite of passage, this would be exactly what happened that day on the garage roof. Google dictionary defines baptism as “a person’s initiation into a particular activity or role, typically one perceived as difficult.” This moment was just that for me. The path I came to, sort of later in life, has not been the easiest. Yeah, sure, the magick and the learning has been great, but it is the acceptance that has been hard won.
I Say It’s Alright
My husband was not okay with the whole witchcraft thing. We live deep in the southern United States, where Christianity is all the rage. He was raised to believe that all witchcraft was bad. That there is only one god. And who can blame him for feeling the way he did? Certainly not I. So as I became in a storm, it was he who would have to weather the firestorm of coming to terms with the idea.Travis is a great man who definitely loves me. He did his best to deal with his feelings in true Cancer fashion, by stuffing them deep down and not saying anything. But also like a Cancer, eventually he snapped. We had this big fight. Everything was over for like five minutes, and then we were okay again. This cycle persisted for about a year until recently, he asked me for a spell.
There were subtle hints the storm in our marriage was ebbing into calmer skies. First, he was cool when I put an altar up near our bed. And then when I found a yellow feather it was Travis who suggested it belongs on my alter. Small things like that are always a good sign.
With the figurative storm of witchcraft subsiding we were bound to have some new, tough things come hailing down upon us. Life can be that way, after all. We had this random horrible day that doesn’t need explaining. But in that moment when his spirits were at their lowest, he turned to me. He asked me for strength, my strength, my magick.
Obviously, I obliged. I set to work creating an intuitive work of art disguised as a spell. I used candles and sigils. I used herbs and pulled out my goat skull. As I prepared my work, he went about doing the mundane things to alleviate our situation even just a little. I prayed to Hermes, Hekate, and my ancestors. He was on the phone with “The Man”. And we saw that storm through, together.
This is the Only Thing I’ve Ever Had Any Faith In
We all have our moments. When our mettle is tested and we aren’t sure that we will make it through. These moments are in place for so many reasons. When you are faced with some impossible task and yet you conquer it. That is when you are baptized in fire.
Like the storm a little more than a year ago cleansed me with rain, thunder, wind, and lightning. Grace, under pressure, is like a fire, burning away the parts that you don’t really need. Cleansing you of ideas that don’t suit any of us. Ideas like, I can’t.
That voice that says you can’t tolerate change. The idea that different is wrong. The feeling that you can’t make it through a storm. These aren’t things that anyone should be holding on to. When there is trouble you power through it. You come out the other side. You find you are stronger than you believed yourself to be.
It doesn’t matter if you are under a hailstorm, firestorm, rainstorm, or in a tornado. When you walk out of your storm, figurative or literal, you are something new. A force to be reckoned with. And, assuming you’ve made it out of said storm broken or damaged, you will still have an easier time in the next go round.
So stand up. Let the waters, or fires, or whatever wash over. Let the trials and experiences make you clean. Allow yourself to be baptized. Initiate yourself into a difficult role. You will find you are all the better for it. And, if all else fails, remember you are a strong, powerful witch. Fire, water, earth, and air are your tools, your weapons. Don’t let them defeat you just because they are raining down on you for a moment.