I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Llewellyn covers of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Most of those covers featured people engaged in some sort of Pagan or Witch activity, and I, in the fullness of my silly youth, used to make up stories about all of them.
Recently I shared a photo on Instagram and Facebook showing a few of those old covers and mentioned that I made up stories about them. A few people (OK one) asked about those stories so I’m sharing them because I had a free hour this afternoon. My stories are goofy (especially the last one) and may not represent how you view the covers in question, but my stories represent how I viewed them as a Witchling.
Please don’t take any of this too seriously, and despite my love of 90’s Llewellyn, the covers could have (and should have) been much more diverse. Hopefully we are capable of learning from our past mistakes.
WICCA: A GUIDE FOR THE SOLITARY PRACTITIONER
They had been questioning their faith for a long while now, it just didn’t make sense. “Why would a loving God create something with a flaw so large it necessitated that god sacrificing his own child?” Besides, the whole father and son thing seemed to be missing something in the equation.
All of the religions they had learned about in college didn’t seem to help much either. Sure, there were benefits from meditation, and not every monotheistic faith was all gloom and doom, but there had to be something more life and earth affirming out there. And now all of those questions had led to this moment.
The stone bench in the backyard had converted so easily into an altar, and using fresh cut flowers from the garden to decorate it just felt right. It was all coming together so easily! And who knew that making a ritual robe would take no time at all? Still, they felt a bit of apprehension, this was a big step, calling to the gods of Wicca(!), what would their UU congregation think? The incense was lit, the space was being cleansed, it was too late to turn back now.
“Loving Goddess, be with me this August night. Help me draw closer to the earth and your mysteries. Let me live my life with courage and conviction and know your truth!”
And with those words, something stirred inside of them. Maybe they felt a little silly, but they couldn’t deny the energy and power that they now felt.
TO RIDE A SILVER BROOMSTICK
There had always been whispers that her grandmother was a bruja or a witch. Daniela had never paid those rumors much mind and had always found them absurd. But now something seemed to be pulling her towards magick, and Daniela suspected it was the spirit of her grandmother, maybe the woman she cherished so much in life really had been a Witch?
Daniela’s early forays into magick had been empowering. With candles, herbs, and oils she felt like she now had greater control over her life. There had been the promotion, the new girlfriend, and even an unexpected truce with her brother. Under the light of the full moon in her ritual space she felt surrounded by the energy of the Goddess and it was often dizzying, in the best way possible.
But now it was Samhain, and it was time to find out the truth about her grandmother. As her knowledge of Witchcraft had grown over the last year Daniela knew that her grandmother probably wouldn’t have practiced Witchcraft like she was practicing it. She may very well have been a Catholic and a bruja, but her current practice made her feel as if a door had opened, and she now had a chance for answers away from the prying eyes of family.
Daniela lit a candle and invoked her beloved dead. A familiar scent now filled the room, and a beloved’s spirit drew near . . .
THE TRUTH ABOUT WITCHCRAFT TODAY
Connie dug deep down into her purse and pulled out her Walkman. Work had been a shit-show as always, a senior partner had once again taken nearly all the credit for her work. The victory in the Newman case had been the result of her effort. She had led the team, she had questioned the witnesses, but no matter what she did it never seemed to be enough for the men of her office. She desperately needed a little escape, and a little magick. She put the headphones over her ears and soon The Celts by Enya flooded her ears.
Buoyed by the ethereal voice of Enya, Connie let out a huge sigh. The exhale was magickal and reduced much of the tension from inside of her, but it could never take away the betrayal and the sheer unfairness of it all. She could use the anger as a focus though . . . . .
As she walked through the park towards her favorite bench she began collecting some of the dried leaves both on the ground and stirring about her in the air. These will do nicely she thought to herself and after collecting half a dozen leaves she settled onto her bench. Reaching deep into her purse once more she pulled out a pen and began writing on the leaves she had collected.
Truth, Credit, Acknowledgement, Fair Treatment, Equal Pay, Justice! It was time that she got her due, and that she received what she was worth. She had won many cases for that stupid law firm, all while other colleagues had taken the credit. Her anger boiled up, but so did a feeling of pride and self-worth. Connie knew just how powerful she was, and what she was capable of.
Rising up from the park bench she said quietly yet forcefully:
“Great Goddess, grant me these booms. May the truth of my work be revealed. May the credit and acknowledgement I deserve be mine! No longer will I toil for less than I am worth! No longer will I be silent while others deny what I have done! There will be justice! This I ask in the name of the Triple Goddess! So mote it be!”
Out of the corner of her eye Connie noticed a curious onlooker. His face was a bit ashen and on his lips she believed he had mouthed “Witchcraft!” as if the notion was unbelievable. Putting her headphones back in her purse, she tucked her clutch underneath her arm and looked directly at the questioning party. Her mouth didn’t open, but the smirk on her face said it all “I am a Witch.” She left the park and headed back to the office.
When Connie got to work the next day she noticed something off about her desk. Usually immaculate, there was a copy of the New York Times laid out across it. Circled in red under a page three headline about the Newman case the reporter had written “and the defense team led by Connie Dixon . . .” Her phone buzzed, her secretary called to let her know that senior partners wanted to see her as soon as possible.
“Hurry up Jason, it’s time for ritual.”
I turned around to look at her and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Dressed up for ritual and holding her mother’s sword, she looked like something out of a dream. Since our chance meeting at a Grateful Dead show several months ago my life had completely changed.
I was no longer dabbling with Wiccan-Witchcraft, I was now practicing it! I was no longer just paying lip service to the sabbats, I could now feel the energy of the earth shift around the times of the greater sabbats. Magick, once so elusive, I could now feel with my every breath. My entire worldview had been upended, and I had loved every minute of it.
“Mom, I mean, Lady Savannah is waiting for you my dear. Your initiation beckons.”
The sword shifted to her left hand, I was always impressed with just how strong she was, and she took me by the hand, leading the way down a darkened hallway. Candle light flickered in the distance and grew with increasing intensity as walked. It was time for my journey into the mysteries.