As you read this I’m most likely in Scotland, either at a whiskey distillery or on the banks of Loch Ness. It doesn’t really matter where I’m at, what’s most important is who I’m with. Whether I’m drinking scotch or catching a peak of the elusive monster, my wife Ari will be standing right beside me, just like she has been for the last ten years (and six years of on and off dating before that). I can’t imagine anyone else voluntarily going to Loch Ness on their tenth wedding anniversary, but that’s my wife. (She tells me that it’s all for love, but I think our tour stopping by the Dalwhinnie distillery had something to do with it.)
More than my wife Ari is also my magical partner. I’ve been a Pagan slightly longer than she has (I’m also slightly six and a half years older) but most of our journey through the Craft has been together. We were practically initiated together, though I think she has me beat by about twenty minutes (in their wisdom our High Priestess and High Priest recognized the more natural Witch out of our pairing). My Paganism has certainly been more public the last ten years, but everything I am and everything I write has been greatly influenced by her.
Our pairing as magical partners has always felt entirely natural to me, and I’m generally surprised when my other Pagan and Witchy friends aren’t married to a working partner. I have a lot of friends who are happily married to other Pagans, but often those couples don’t seem to practice the Craft together as publicly as my wife and I. Ari and I share nearly every aspect of our lives with one another, I can’t imagine not sharing the most important one, Wicca.
She compliments everything I do in circle, and vice versa. I’m not a Natural Witch, I can’t pick up a rock and tell you anything about it other than “it’s a rock.” Ari picks things up and can tell you exactly what type of energy that stone is projecting and how it might (or might not) come in handy during ritual. She does things in ritual without thinking about them and they are always “right” in the sense that they both work and make sense once she explains them. I can write flowery words and set up ritual in a scripted sort of sense, but Ari takes those words and transforms them into something truly magical. She shapes my words and workings and turns them into something special.
I met Ari when she was 18 and I was 24. I’d like to say “I’ve watched her grow up” but it was really the other way around. At 24 I was still a snot-nosed kid. I might have been the one able to buy the beer but she was the real adult. She’s sort of dragged me kicking and screaming into adulthood, and I would have never really tried to write anything without her support and encouragement. She’s the one.
I was a Pagan for three or four years before I met Ari but other than that first initial step she’s been there every other step of the way. We perfected eclectic ritual together (and even during the “off” periods of our courtship she was still the High Priestess with me), played with being Druids, and when things didn’t feel serious enough she was the one who made the initial push to get us involved in Traditional Witchcraft.
When we go to festivals and other things I sometimes end up getting most of the attention, at least at first. Sure I do workshops and panels and know a lot of people but once someone meets Ari the ruse ends. Because once they meet Ari they know where the real brains of our operation lie, with her. I might have better hair but that’s all I’ve really got going for me.
Ari you are amazing and I love you more than anything in the world. Thanks for these ten years together, here’s to fifty more! (Really, I think we’ll have fifty more!) Anyways, I should probably get back to Loch Ness and celebrating my tenth wedding anniversary. Thank you darling wife, and thank you dear reader for humoring me by reading this love letter to my wife. Now off to that whiskey distillery.