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Revisiting The Spiral
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Witch With Attitude
Article ID: 10744
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,721
Times Read: 4,813
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 18th. 2006
Times Viewed: 4,813
The dictionary says the word attitude means:
A position of the body or manner of carrying oneself: (stood in a graceful attitude.)
A state of mind or a feeling; disposition: (had a positive attitude.)
A relatively stable and enduring predisposition to behave or react in a characteristic way.
I am a very proud Pagan and Witch. At times, I may come across as a Witch with a bit of an attitude. Honestly, that is not my intention. Occasionally, I find it necessary that I apologize for my straightforward manner which can come across a bit forceful to some. It is not pride, though I am proud of who I am.
I am extremely humbled that I was fortunate in having a Great Grandmother who, against all odds and adversity, raised me with Pagan traditions. She taught me her knowledge and understanding of magick and nature blended from within many traditions - Native American, French, the Old World and the Old South.
These teachings had to be accomplished while well hidden and in secret from even the closest of family members. My Great Grandmother was under enormous pressure to never speak of her beliefs to me in any form. My family made it perfectly clear that if she even made mention of what they called, "Her silly superstitions and folk ways,” that would have meant my family forbidding her from seeing me ever again.
At this time in my life, and with recently becoming a new grandmother myself, I am much more aware of what my Great Grandmother must have had to sacrifice personally to teach me. I was born in the nineteen-fifties, not a time of acceptance, socially or spiritually.
Many are surprised to learn that for a time, I hid my beliefs and understanding as I tried to conform to the social acceptability of society. Not my closest friends, family, nor even my husband knew who and what I truly was. I practiced, privately. I did magick, mixed brews and cast circles, but all within a veil of secrecy.
Keeping secrets can be good or bad depending on the underlying reasons. Keeping my magickal practice a secret during the early years of my life, I believed, was necessary to exist. Now I know that it is a secret that, in time, would have destroyed me entirely.
At this time, as hard as it is for those who know me to believe, I was an extremely introverted person. I was so afraid someone would see all the secrets I was trying to keep hidden that I would overcompensate by being loud or not talking at all. When you don't know who you are, you never know how to behave. During all those lost years hiding in secret, I was miserable and I believe that it was this hiding from life and myself that made me physical ill.
I had terrible, blinding headaches, some to the point of ending up hospitalized from the pain. Symptoms of things that made no sense. Finally, after thousands of tests, I was diagnosed with Lupus. My body was rebelling against itself. I believe my grief, my inner turmoil was physically making me sick and according to the doctors leaving me a numbered few years of life…
I did everything the doctors told me to do. I took all the drugs I was to take. Still, I just became sicker. I was lost and beginning to lose hope. My life seemed to be filled with sorrow, self pity and loss; something had to change. I didn't know what or how, but something.
During the night, I dreamed of my Great Grandmother. I saw her sitting in her rocking chair in front of the big, rock fireplace in the small, wood-frame home of my childhood. She was smiling and her face glowed with the warm light from the fire. I could feel my heart beating so hard I was sure it was going to burst from my chest. Like a child, I ran to her; she reached out and took my hand as I sat down beside her on the floor and placed my head on her lap. She gently stroked my head as she had done many times in comfort and love. "Why do you weep child?" I heard in that familiar voice. I looked up into those night black eyes and said, "I am so lost." Smiling and shaking her head she said, "Then find yourself again. Then your spirit will find happiness."
"How?" I asked waking myself from a restless sleep. I'm not sure if it was grief or fear that held me for so many years in the darkness of secrets. After my Great Grandmother had passed, I knew I would never be happy unless I stopped hiding. Did the illness make me weak, or the weakness make me ill? I didn't know. I only knew I was going to end the secrets and I was going to be well.
I had decided to heal myself. I got out my books and begin to study the healing ways. Reading over my Great Grandmother books and how she had taught me to use herbs, how to meditate, and how to call on my own spirit to heal from the inside.
It wasn't instant and it took some convincing to get my doctor to understand that this was what I was going to do. I stopped taking all the medications, anything unnatural. It took some time, but it happened. My body began to heal, this time from my spirit. As I relearned the healing and natural magick of my Great Grandmother, I learned to make my own choices. The most important of these was that I could be happy; I could be healthy and I would be the person I was meant to be. In this I found I was truly healed.
I am not saying that everyone needs to cast their medication into a fire and be healed. That is for the TV preachers to do. I am also not saying I have never been ill again. Everyone has something at some time. It’s how we deal with it that makes the difference. Five years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors gave me the bleakest of outcomes and possibilities. Yet, here I am today able to say proudly, “I am a breast cancer survivor.”
In life, we must all manage our personal joys and misfortunes to the best of our abilities. At the time of whatever pain we are dealing with, we cannot help but see our personal tragedy greater than all others. Yet, who is to say that the pain one deals with in a broken arm is any less than the pain another deals with in a broken leg? Pain is pain; how we feel it and heal from it is our personal nature alone.
I say this because it is what makes up who I am today as a Witch. I believe that whatever the trial, misfortune, pain, or joy placed before us, it is there for a reason. Hopefully, and Goddess willing, I have learned from both the trials and tribulations of my life so that I might help others as they travel the path life has placed before them.
Perhaps illness comes from not knowing it can be healed. To be healed, we must first trust in our own personal faith and in our own personal beliefs. My faith happens to be found within the powers that be, the Goddess, nature and most assuredly, magick.
Weakness of mind and spirit can bring, I think, the weakness of body. Once we trust who and what we are as Pagans and Witches, the power of healing is only a thought away.
In all healing and magick, it is our attitude which makes the meditation, spell, chant, or prayer work. My Great Grandmother taught me that to work a spell was as simple as seeing it completed. Don't cast a spell or pray for rain, make rain. In magick, you do not ask that if it is possible to please let it rain. You see it raining; you see all the green grass, trees and flowers in bloom from the rain. Then, you say 'thank you'. To put it simply, "To think it is to be it." It's all about attitude, positive thinking, and trusting yourself.
I believe it is the fates that design our existences by the weaving of the paths throughout time. In this, we are molded by life into the person and Witches we are. For myself, I am a Witch, sometimes with strong opinions and yes, with attitude.
Be ye blessed, be positive, and be ye filled with magick.
Copyright: Copyright; Lady Abigail © 030106
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
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