I wasn’t a part of their tradition, but they let me sit with them anyways. Over the years I’ve been to a few rituals they or their friends have led and found the ritual structure confusing, and the names of their deities perplexing. But every time we talk, we find more and more bits of shared practice and belief.
We most certainly do things differently, but what we are all doing is unquestionably Witchcraft. We can talk shop, and perhaps even more importantly, we all know what exactly works (and what doesn’t) in circle. After hours of conversation, and several drams of whisky, I fell even more in love with a great many of the people who practice the tradition started by Cora and Victor Anderson all those years ago.
And that’s how it usually goes when I encounter Witches from outside my own tradition. The differences always seem so much smaller when we talk, and the miles that seem to separate us online drift away. There are still some out there who seem a bit over-impressed with themselves, but the Witches who truly understand and value their Craft don’t act that way.
I LOVE WITCHES!
It’s always three things. The first is the hustle and bustle of setting up our ritual space. Even though our Temple Room is used almost exclusively for ritual, there are always pitchers to fill with scented water and cakes and ale to prepare. It’s nearly therapeutic to set up the room. After a day spent writing about Witchcraft I get to do Witchcraft!
The second thing is our opening chant. It’s a trigger. ” ♩ ♩ Listen to the Lord and Lady, Call their children in the moonlight . . . ♩ ♩” Even when we are all out of tune it’s somehow better than any other song I’ve heard all day (and even week.)
The third thing is the incense. It’s a blend that’s only used by our coven, and it’s scent instantly transports me. It’s more powerful than any drug, and it might be my favorite scent in the world. After my three triggers hit I know it’s ritual time, and my coven never disappoints me. We walk between the worlds together. We talk to the gods, raise energy, wield our magick, and grow even closer in perfect love and perfect trust week after week.
I LOVE MY COVEN OF WITCHES!
She wrote another nasty thing on her Facebook page. She’s done so much good over the years, and she’s truly a pioneering figure in the world of Witchcraft. But my friends are not threatening her existence, nor are they playing dress-up.
“Trans Women are Women.” “Trans Men are Men.” I’ve heard Storm say it. I heard Lasara say it. I’ve heard so many of my absolute favorite Witches, Druids, and Pagans say it. But most importantly I’ve seen the truth of that statement on the faces and in the spirits of my trans friends over the last twenty years.
Old ways of thinking die hard, and for some, accepting what they believe is a change in our culture can be difficult. But it’s always been this way, we just failed for so long to give it a voice.
I LOVE MY TRANS BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND THOSE THAT STAND WITH THEM! (And I love the 99% of Paganism that believes everyone should be treated with dignity and respect!)
I’m not sure they meant to start a mass movement, but it was obvious that everything was different now. The will of the people had been thwarted (millions more votes for the other candidate), the Russians absolutely interfered, and it’s obvious that he’s mentally unstable and completely unfit for a local planning commission, let alone the White House.
“Bind Trump” they wrote. I’ll admit I was hesitant at first. We raised energy in our circle for our friends and those most vulnerable in our society that first Winter, but bind a politician? But then the cries of “Fake News” grew louder, and they even gave up on hiding the crony capitalism they were practicing . . .
. . . . And then they began separating children from their parents, and now the agency of women over their own bodies hangs in the balance. A partisan, pig-headed, beer-loving, conspiracy weaving “judge” is measuring his robes for the Supreme Court. We as a nation didn’t vote for this, and even more importantly we are ignoring (and in some cases laughing) about sexual assault.
Bind Trump!!?!?! BIND THEM ALL!! Bind those complicit in his acts and his desire to erode our democracy and the dignity of the office he somehow holds. Bind the four (and soon five) who would treat women, persons of color, and the LGBTQ community as second or third class citizens. Bind the agents who keep children from their parents and bind those in blue who shoot first and ask questions later when encountering a black man.
We will vote. We will volunteer. We will give money. And we will practice our Craft with the hope of preserving our nation and our personal sovereignty.
I LOVE THE WITCHES AND PAGANS WHO STAND WITH THE OPPRESSED AND VULNERABLE!
She called my wife “simpering” for reasons we will never understand. He claimed somewhat idiotically that I was three phone-calls away from Trump. She claimed that she had knocked on my front-door and been sent away. It all stung. It all hurt. And no, I won’t ever tell you who did or said these things. Why? Because we should be doing better than that, and “better” always starts with us, and me, and you.
This hair on my head is grey because of Patheos Pagan. He was why I couldn’t sleep for two weeks. Her vitriol directed towards my wife made me cry. Paganism has left wounds. I trust those around me a lot less than I did just two years ago.
But mixed with the pain, were moments of great and tremendous kindness. A Druid offered me his hand and we performed ritual together and celebrated our love of all things Cernunnos. Another Druid sang me a song that I’m not even sure he knew was for me. A tremendous Witch who is thirteen times the Witch I’ll ever be wrote a book with me and became one of my dearest friends and confidants. A group of us walked together in the starlight (stang in hand), listened to the laughter of Puck, stoked the fires of our Craft, and broke bread with the witches who live just next door.
Some of the worst experiences of my life have been in the greater Pagan Community, but many more of my best days have been spent in the company of Witches, Druids, Pagans, Magicians, and the goddesses and gods I love, worship, and serve. The Pagan Community has given me so much, and it’s probably true that the cuts from what we love are the most painful.
I STILL LOVE PAGANISM AND THIS GREAT BIG MESS WE CALL A COMMUNITY
I really do forget sometimes how much I love this big, grand, bold experiment we call Paganism. It still has a long way to go, and we are a long way from building the perfect mouse trap. But I think as a whole we are good people who try mostly to do the right thing.
Thank you all for that, and I do love you.