Through The Back Door
Article Specs |
Article ID: 3227
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,803
Times Read: 5,807
Author: Moonspider [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 14th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,807
I came in through the back door. I've never done anything typically, that just isn't my way. I always knew I was a Witch, I knew it was inside me, coursing through my veins. I just didn't know how to release it.
Let's start at the beginning shall we. When I was 3 years old I have memories of visiting my maternal grandmother, Mary. She lived downstairs from us. We communicated she and I. Yet, I spoke no Hungarian, her native tongue, and she no English, my native tongue. Every morning I would go down to my grandparent's apartment to have tea with her, and a treat. My grandfather, John, worked for a baker as a home delivery man. So, we always had real fresh baked goods.
Mary, I'm convinced, was a Witch. No groans, please. I know your thinking, Oh, my god, still dead grandmother stories. Well, this is my story. Whether in truth she was or not is actually irrelevant. I knew what I was. And because of that memory I searched out information all while growing up. Now you young 'uns have it easy. There are so many shops, books, Internet, etc. available to you, with great information. We had very little. So whatever I found I treasured.
One of my prized possessions is a paperback copy of Sybil Leek's Complete art of Witchcraft. This edition came out in 1969 when I was a child. I bought it with my paper route money. The book cost $1.25. Quite a bit of money for a wee lad, especially when papers cost a nickel then. I devoured the book, I've no idea how many times I've read and reread it over the years.
A couple of years later her Diary of a Witch came out in paperback, it cost a staggering $2.95. Again, I was ecstatic, and devoured it. About the same time Leo Louis Martello's Witchcraft: The Old Religion came out. I managed to get a copy, hungrily I ate it, too. What you could find in the local public library at the time was not good. It was the Christian version of the Craft, which I knew was wrong.
So, tightly I held on to my treasures, until more time could pass. During that time I attended Catholic grammar school. I'm glad I had the experience, for without it, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Those teachings were torture, for I knew they weren't for me, but I dutifully went, because it was expected. All while grappling with the idea that I could roast in Hell. Yet, there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, I was a good person. How could I rot in Hell, forever because of it?!
Fortunately, I made the decision to go to public high school. Unlike my three brothers before me who did attend Catholic high school. That just wasn't for me. I did however make my confirmation, to please my parents. I would not have done so otherwise. And, after 16, my regular attendance of Mass gradually became a thing of the past.
All throughout this time little things would come back to nudge me to keep on track of the Path. I am an information junky. I love libraries, they are wondrous places. I could wander the shelves and find poetry that spoke to me. I could find instant facts in encyclopedias and almanacs. I could learn to cook, learn about foreign lands, learn about art and artists, and, of course crafts. Wow, what a wondrous invention.
So, through my traversing of these shelves, I was able to find myself, in bits and pieces. Not unlike finding hidden pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece would be a facet that would eventually become my jewel.
In my later teens and early twenties I waffled back and forth. Never willing to either fully commit to Catholicism or my nature as a Witch.
Then comes along Laurie Cabot. Power of the Witch was a revelation. This is how I'd been practicing all along. Not using archaic incantations, but, by using my mind. Wow, somebody who finally understood me. Again, I devoured this book. I've read it a great many times. And, for over a decade it was an annual ritual for me to reread this item. It has become the way I teach the Craft today. It is the textbook, if you will, that I require my students to read.
It was my pleasure to have taken my first and second degree with Laurie. She is an amazing figure. She stood out, and took a great deal of heat so Witches could walk proudly. She is human and has her faults, as do we all. I choose to reflect on the good she has done. Above all she validated for me what I felt all along. I just wasn't able to verify it until then. We all have the power within us, we can all tap it and use it. We don't need archaic, or high falutin' ceremony, we just need to go within and tap the source.
Over the years I've collected thousands of books. They've provided nuggets of information that make up my knowledge base. Very handy for me, since I make my living as a librarian.
One mistake I made was not having faith in myself. I had the knowledge, and it was correct. That is probably the main reason for having a live teacher and working with others. We help validate each other.
My pride is listening to one of my student's pass on the ways that I past on to them. That is a glorious thing. That is part of life, too. Why it is happy to have children, to see them grow and carry on. And each student begets another, the word and the ways spread. As should it be.
To the newbies, I say, read, read, read. Read the good, and the bad, you can learn from both. Within the Craft also, you can sometimes learn more from a bad teacher than a good one. From them you may learn what not to do, or to avoid. Just as valuable a skill as learning what to do.
I leave you with this, may you find your own way.
Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Author's Profile: To learn more about Moonspider - Click HERE
Bio: Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski has been on this path most of his life. Life has dealt him many twists and turns, and usually says he came into the Craft through the back door. He loves books and reading and makes his living as a librarian. Numerology is his main form of divination having worked it for over 15 years. but, his Gemini mind, never at rest, has studied astrology, crystals, runes, I ching and whatever else strikes his fancy. He recently joined a local Pagan board as education chair, and will begin formally teaching Craft classes this month.
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