On April 26th, I picked up a thread I had first pulled at 22 years ago. I was initiated into another tradition of Witchcraft.
When I was a college-bound Witchlet heading to Providence, RI, I had sent a SASE* to a group listed in either Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon or The Witches’ Almanac, LTD (probably it was both). I was thrilled to get a prompt response complete with more information, but I didn’t follow through with attending. Not because I was a busy college student + working, but because I was in a relationship that I intuitively knew wouldn’t allow me the space to do this on my own. To make a long story short, I ended up founding a college Pagan society that would become a much larger group and spawn a tradition. Basically, that diversion on my path got me to where I am today.
Which I’m pretty damn happy about in retrospect, but that didn’t stop me from wondering “what if?” As it so happened, I was doing some research for Weave The Liminal and while discussing some things back with certain folks in New England, I expressed that sentiment of curiosity. The reply was “Opportunities are never missed. They still exist.”
I stared at my computer screen for quite some time. I wasn’t looking to join another tradition, and I’ve numerous invitations over the years. My path was working well, as-is. Simply, I had been remarking on the pattern of things. Not to mention that I live over 3000 miles away.
Yet upon reading those words, I felt like I had stumbled backwards through a door I didn’t even know was there. A seed was planted and the signs started to poke through my consciousness like determined leaves. And so over the next few months, plans were made, airplane tickets secured. That part was relatively easy.The hard part? Getting my brain to reset back to beginner mode. Despite the tradition being very much in tune with my practice and views, joining meant being a newbie all over again. They have different ways of doing things, there’s a definite system that must be followed to adhere to that tradition. And I have worked very hard to be a leader and independent in what I do. I’ve been designing and leading rituals for decades, considered an expert and teacher in many areas. I’ve always been an avid learner, and a bit of an overachiever. Information is my jam (hello Gemini!).
But no matter how the brain wants to spin the logic of it, starting over requires being vulnerable, humble, and the ability to receive. You can’t just think, “Ok, restart, begin from scratch.” At least I can’t. It’s not just a brain thing. You have to reset the heart and spirit as well and that doesn’t happen with just thinking it. Something much more visceral has to occur. On day 4, such a thing happened that seemed relatively minor from the view on the outside, but triggered a hard internal reboot that took nearly another day to process.
The message from the other side was very clear: you must begin anew to follow this path. You don’t have to set aside what you’ve done and accomplished. But this is a new garden, and that means making room for the new seed to grow. The soil must be raked and turned over, prepared to receive without anticipation or ego.
It worked. I’m excited about picking up on that thread that’s been waiting for me for over two decades. If anything, that itself is a lessen in knowing there’s no need to rush. Everything unfolds as it should, as long as you take the time to listen, watch, and learn.
*(for the kids, a SASE is a Self Address Stamped Envelope that you sent via snail mail to receive info back – email was just starting and most organizations didn’t have websites yet either. Yes, it was dark times.)