I Left Wicca. I Came Back. So Can You.
Article ID: 15118
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: September 9th. 2012
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Incense wafts around me as I lift the dragon letter opener I'm using as an athame. The candlelight flickers around the room as I invoke the elements, call the Goddess and God, and settle into a comfortable spot in my circle for my pathworking. The wind howls outside, sending snow whipping onto my window, and I smile - I can feel the divinity and magic in the air around me. Everything is wild and mysterious and I feel so intimately connected to everything around me - I've never felt anything like this before. I feel so complete - and I'm only thirteen years old.
...fast forward a year and a half. I'm in a circle in the forest with three friends - the setting sun's colors filter through the trees above us as we connect our hands. I'm the only 'experienced' one among us, so I let them know what to do. We begin to walk in a circle, chanting in unison: "Hecate, Hecate, Hearken well: lend your power to our spell; Hecate, Hecate, Hearken well: help us do our magick well." Faster and faster we spun, our voices weaving into the branches above us. The world twirled, the air seemed to buzz, and suddenly, without any prompting at all, we stopped chanting and circling and threw our hands into the air - sending the energy into the universe above us, our wishes sent into the world. We stood there a moment, breathing deeply. Then, we collapsed giggling to the earth so we could ground. Everything was perfect. Everything was right. We made magick.
...speed up again. My Book of Shadows hasn't been opened in several weeks. A thin layer of dust is on my altar. As I rush to put on my prom dress, I realize I forgot all about Imbolc, and Ostara, and the full moon the week before. I look guiltily at my altar, shrug, and walk out for a night of dancing with my friends - and hopefully, my crush.
..and again. I'm packing boxes. Pulling unused items from the corners of my room to either give away or put in storage. I find the stack of my old Book of Shadows on the bottom of my bookshelf. I sit on my carpet, and gaze at them in my hand. I feel a fleeting twinge in my heart, and then set the stack in a cardboard box, next to my other old journals. The box goes back into the closet, with the others. I turn to my travel backpack and begin to sort things to put in there. My hand, rustling through my jewelry box, touches my pentacle. I pick it up and watch it glint in the light. The writing around the edge reads, "I am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars." I feel the twinge in my heart again, and decide to put it in among the few pieces of jewelry I was deciding to bring.
Just in case.
That was a year ago. Yes, I traveled. I met many people, and continue to do so. I delved deep into myself and discovered. And yet, I still felt a restlessness.
I was living in tropical paradise on the east coast of Australia - as I am now, for the next few weeks before I leave once more to travel. My life has been perfect - everything I dreamed it would be, ever since I was eight years old.
And yet. And yet.
I woke in the middle of the night, not understanding why I did not feel complete. Was it because I didn't like the housekeeping job I was doing? No, that wasn't it. Was it because I wasn't writing as much on my blog as I would like to? No, that wasn't it, either. Was it because I missed my family and friends? I missed them, but that wasn't what was causing the restlessness, either.
I wrote to my darling soul sisters in the Goddess Circle over at leoniedawson.com. I told these beautiful hearts what was rustling deep in my soul, seeking their guidance and womanly advice. I got many replies, and many pieces of advice, and I pondered on it all.
And then, one night, I knew.
I found myself thinking of the spirituality I had spent my adolescence in. I'm now 19 years old - it has been six years since I first discovered Wicca. I remained in that path until I was about 16, after which, I chose not to identify as Wiccan. Why? What turned me away from that religion that made me feel so complete, so wonderful?
I felt shunned and misunderstood and judged by other Wiccans. Nothing I did was right - whatever I believed or practiced, I wasn't doing it right, I wasn't a real Wiccan, I was a fluff bunny, I need to do this this way and that that way, you're harming the earth because you want to learn to drive, you're harming this and that and this and that...on and on and on. No matter how serious I was, no matter how hard I tried to be intelligent and educated and learned in Wicca, I was judged for one small reason: I was a teenager. at 13, 14, 15, 16 years old, I was considered not smart enough, not mature enough. I was a teenager, thus I was just getting into it because I was "power-hungry" or wanted to be "cool" and I basically was, according to all the adult Wiccans I met, not "serious."
I heard those things so often that I believed them. So I stopped indentifying as Wiccan. I stopped practicing what made me feel so alive. I continued to pray to the Goddess, and occasionally meditate, but that was the extent of my spiritual practice - even though I wanted desperately, deep within, to again do what made me feel so wonderful.
Eventually, that need got buried so deep I stopped consciously feeling it, even when I connected with some Pagans during my time in Western Australia.
The restlessness began growing as I began to blog more - as I began to get a grip on what life I truly wanted to make for myself; that is, a life in which my job is doing something I love, and making enough money from it to support my travelling. In my pursuit to create a quality blog with quality posts, I had to dig deep into myself and my Self, in order to write passionately and authentically.
And, in digging, I found a box I had forgotten, in the corner of the closet of my childhood room.
There is a lot of articles all over the internet, and on Witchvox, and on YouTube, and in books, that are all about "beginning Wicca" and "advanced Wicca" - but what about that in-between place, when all you have is doubt? What about that space in which you step off the path to explore new paths, and find yourself being called back, after all the doubt and fear and confusion and unknown and self-discovery, to your original road? What about that spot in the road that you walk on, far from the part you walked off of? Where are the books and articles for that spot?
Here's one, among none - one for others who have struggled, walked away, and come back. Here's one for those who already know the basics by heart, but aren't quite knowledgeable enough anymore to go to the advanced Wicca.
You aren't alone, darling.
This one's for you.
Keep walking. Practice your magick. Do what your heart calls you to do.
I don't practice the same Wicca I practiced at 13, or 14, or 15, or 16. The Wicca I practice now is gentler and more full of gigglesnorts and soaking my dancing toes in the sea.
You don't have to practice the same way you did before. You've experienced other ways. You've seen. You've touched. You've loved, and hated, and cried, and giggled, and gotten your feet dirty on the dust of other roads.
Bring that wisdom to your new path. You are a bigger person now. You are a more beautiful person now.
The Goddess doesn't mind if you no longer feel connected to elaborate rituals with lots of trinkets and candles and complicated words. She doesn't mind if you aren't vegetarian or an environmentalist. She doesn't mind if you don't agree with what other Wiccans say.
She doesn't mind if the only spiritual thing you do is talk to Her while you walk to work in the morning.
I know She doesn't mind that I mix up the Southern Hemisphere directions sometimes, and that I giggle when I fart during meditation. I know She doesn't mind that I'm not into spells and big fancy altars anymore.
The time I had away from Wicca, walking on other paths - the time I had away from it, doubting, questioning, wondering - was exactly what I needed to get perspective on why I loved Wicca.
Wicca wasn't a phase for me as a teenager. I wasn't into it for the power, or because it was "cool."
Wicca attracted me because it spoke to my core. I didn't always translate it very well, because the jumbled emotions of adolescence got in the way, but what it all comes down to is that it resonated with a deep and wild knowing in my breast.
If you walked away from the path and then came back to it at a different point - there was reason for that. Wicca, in some way, spoke to your core as well - to the la loba sitting in your belly.
The wolf's ears perked up, and a mischievous grin spread across her lips. Because she knew that you had found what you, your whole life, had been longing for.
Walk away. Come back. And walk away again.
Follow your wild knowing.
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