I started officially walking into the study of Paganism in 2002, and joined my first coven in 2003. It has been a long time, and yet sometimes it feels like I just came to the path. There has been so much learning, and so many moments of personal growth, I am not the practitioner I was before. The process of personal and spiritual growth has changed me in ways I never anticipated, and now even the process of magic does not look or feel the same to me. I have even began noticing how my connection to the Sabbats have evolved, and they do not hold the same magic as they once did. They are magical for different reasons and hold a different level of significance for me.
The integration of my personal culture, and the changing significance of my personal power, has pushed the line of a Wiccan practice further into the land of true eclectic Paganism. Flexibility in my practice has allowed for me to fully integrate the various different sides of myself, and I am not done with that aspect of my magic.
The year of 2015 has been a long time coming; many of the plans I have had come to either a conclusion or will transition to another level. It is the year of many moments of closure, and one of the biggest initiations I will receive in my life. I complete graduate school this year, and I will have come to the height of my planned pilgrimage. It has been 5 years since my mom died and I am on the next stage of my healing process. it has been 5 years since we legally took responsibility for my youngest kids and finally feel like we are turning the corner in our adjustment. I officially got a promotion at work and I have a new book coming out this month. The magic of my life has been manifesting all along and it has occurred to me that being in alignment with my sense of self, my goals, my ancestors, a consistent daily practice and a lot of love is a magical formula on it’s own.
I was initially taught that magic was a candle, some incense, a clear intent, a pentacle disk and a stone or two on a nicely decorated altar. Today I know that my magic needs no tools, and often comes down to my will and my action. Adding the tools help to enhance my methods. The last five years have been a fight for my life and it was that magic that helped me to make it through.The overall changes that have occurred in the ways that I understand my magic have made a profound impact in how I harness personal power. Manifestation is but unattached movements without true understanding and the skill that personal power affords us. It is in this space that I have truly begun to see the power of magic outside of the ritual circle. It is within that context that I am able to see the interwoven pieces of my priestessing, my academic studies, my social work, my parenting, my justice work, advocacy, and my personal soul searching ancestral work as pieces to a really large picture. None of those things are mutually exclusive, and they do not exist in isolation.
Someone recently referred to me in a blog as a social worker with a pentacle on, and regardless of intent, this is such a compliment to me. It is an acknowledgement of this very magic I am speaking to. I am never the priestess without being the social worker, just as I am never the social worker without being the priestess. The image of the social worker with a pentacle on is empowering, it is the acknowledgment of my passion. It is what I am projecting out into the world and the impact I hope to make.
As 2015 has started off with a bang, I am seeing multiple parts of my otherwise separate life collide together in the perfect storm of magical momentum. I have felt the work of the last five years has been building to the peak, much like the energy in a ritual circle. It is scary, and yet confirming, that the Gods are putting these many things in motion. Yemaya told me after my initiation that I would be tasked with the work of her children, that she would use me as her eyes and her mouth. I had no idea of what that meant.
So as I embark on the ending of one phase of my personal evolution, and start a new one, I am learning to accept, acknowledge and embrace in a whole new way. Magic is not just within the circle, it is within my whole life. My ability to speak, laugh, advocate, empower, cry, examine privilege, show empathy, teach, learn, grieve, and share truths is living the magical life of a Priestess, and as a daughter of Yemaya. Social work is just as much a part of my ritual as calling in the elements. Grieving my mother’s death is just as much a part of the mysteries as any other part of Wiccan study. Exploring the pain, glory and truths of the horrors of my ancestral past is just as essential to my priestessing as any other element of study.
I am beginning my magical beginnings again with more tools and a sharpened ability to understand my place in society and in the spiritual realm. I am terrified and excited to see the next phase of what the Gods have in store.