Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Rites of Passage-Wiccanings & Coming of Age Rituals
Article ID: 2322
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,454
Times Read: 10,407
Posted: April 10th. 1999
Times Viewed: 10,407
I took part in a very powerful "rite of passage" when I was 15 years old. Truth be told, I didn't even realize it at the time. After all, I was 15, in the throes of intense teenage angst over something or another and absorbed in wondering just what this nasty old world was going to throw at me next.
So, I did the one thing that I always did when my life got like this. I headed off into the woods. O.K., it was really a swamp in the middle of the woods, but it was always my special place.
I enjoy the implicit order found in swamps. Beneath the water swim the frogs and tadpoles, turtles and crayfish. On the surface, little 'skimmers' glide on the surface with all the grace of the greatest Olympic figure skater. Birds hop along the banks looking for that one otherwise preoccupied tasty morsel and the bees hum as they flit from creamy white lotus to deep purple iris looking for the magickal ingredient that allows them to bring sweetness into the world.
As I sat on the old tree stump, I began to think. And when I begin to think, I begin to write. That day I wrote a powerful rite of passage ritual that would take another twenty years to come full circle.
Perhaps you might consider this as a rite of passage for your own family. The kids are never going to believe you were really once their age anyway and so this may a real eye opener for them! At the least they will know that you were thinking of them, wanted them, welcomed them into your life.
Sitting on the old tree stump, 15 years old and thinking about life, I wrote a letter to my daughter.
Looking back on that day now, I seem to remember a strange silence fell over the swamp. The air was thick and warm and eerily heavy. And that's when I saw her there...
I saw her clearly within my mind-all dark brown hair and bright green eyes-at about the same age that I was then. She seemed to be looking straight ahead into what would be her future. I recognized her immediately. I knew that this young girl would one day be my daughter.
She had an expectant look upon her face-as if she was waiting for something to happen. And I suddenly wanted to give her some words of advice. And I wanted to do it while I could still remember what it was like to be 15...
So I wrote...
|To My Daughter,|
"I saw you today. Standing there waiting for your future to begin. I want to tell you so much. About my life, about your life, about us. But I don't know what that will be right now. We'll have to write that part together someday."
"I wonder if you will love the same things that I do. The wild places, the animal kindred, the magick of life. I will take you to these places and show you these things and I hope that when you are troubled that you will find a place like this for yourself."
"There is so much to learn from nature. And from within Her cycles of life, death and rebirth, we can learn a lot about ourselves. That is why I come here. I hope that some beautiful summer day that you will find this place, too."
"And perhaps you will also see your own daughter there. And then you will want to tell her how much you promise to care for her and protect her and teach her...how you will always be proud of her when she follows her own heart and that you will promise to stand by her when she needs a hand to hold."
But most of all, you will want to tell her how much that you will love her... I know. Because that is what I want to tell you."
"I love you, daughter..."
As I closed my notebook, the world seemed to shift and the bees once again were humming and the skimmers were dancing their little circle dance upon the water. And then I did what any 15 year old would do. I went home and went about the business of trying to survive my Monday morning math test.
I did survive that math test and many more over the years. I graduated high school, went to college (briefly!), dated and eventually got married. I also continued to write.
When I discovered that I was pregnant, I knew that the baby would be a girl. No doubt in my mind. I had seen her. I didn't even pick out a boy name. I also knew that this would be my only child. That was okay, too. Somewhere we had made a promise-her and I-that this was how it would be.
The first time that the nurses brought my daughter, Skye, to me, I found myself looking for...something.
I counted toes and fingers (We mothers all do this...). I looked at the color of her wispy hair under the wee sack bonnet. But there was something else still..."
She was lying on her stomach along the length of my own when Skye did that "something." She pushed upwards with her two little stick arms, raised her head and looked me straight in the eyes...An electric thrill rippled through my entire body. We were together again.
I'm not sure that anyone ever believed me when I told them the story. Newborns simply do NOT do push-ups while lying on their mother's stomach and they most certainly do not focus their eyes on anything yet...But that is indeed what happened. A promise had been kept...
The years passed and Skye grew to be beautiful, witty and strong. We went for long walks in the woods and she helped me to harvest wild herbs. We talked about anything and everything-more like lifelong friends than like mother and daughter. In fact, folks often thought that we were sisters. Perhaps once upon another lifetime, we were.
And on Skye's 15th birthday, I gave her the letter that I had written for her more than twenty years before while sitting on an old tree stump in a swamp listening to bees.
I don't know if it helped her to survive being 15 with teenage angst over something or another or wondering what the nasty old world would throw at her next. I don't know if she still has it tucked away somewhere. I don't know if she even remembers the letter.
But from that day in the swamp to the day of her birth through the day of her 15th birthday and up to this very minute, she has always known this one thing...
"I love you, daughter".
Location: Tampa, Florida
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