There's No Place Like Home
Article ID: 14325
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,145
Times Read: 6,200
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Author: Kylia Heartsong
Posted: December 5th. 2010
Times Viewed: 6,200
On Thanksgiving evening, I watch The Wizard of OZ. Again! As I sat there, almost as enthralled as I had been as a child, I realized the influence that this iconic film had on the direction that my life has taken.
I remember the first time I’d heard Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, ask an obviously awestruck, yet otherwise normal, Dorothy Gale, “Are you a good Witch or a bad Witch?” My child’s heart was set astir by the possibility that there might very well be a difference!
I would have gladly welcomed Glinda’s question, knowing that the answer, “I’m not a Witch at all” would have never crossed my lips, but instead, would have sent me on a journey of self-discovery!
In 1939, when this film was released, I doubt that the general population was giving much thought to the existence of real Witches. Yet, around the same time, Gerald Brosseau Gardner was, by his own accounts, studying with and being initiated into one of the only surviving Witchcraft Covens in existence. I hadn’t been born until some 20 years later and yet, both the film and Gerald Gardner have had a profound impact on my life!
For me, the name “Gerald Gardner” became synonymous with Wicca. So, when I’d reached the point in my practice that I felt I wanted to devote myself to a specific Tradition, I followed my intuition to a lineage of his teachings.
And so began my journey, which was actually more of an awkward stumble, rather than a well choreographed skip, down my own personal yellow brick road to British Tradition Gardnerian Wicca. I use the word, “stumble” because I did hit some bumps in the pavement along the way. There were some personal beliefs that I just couldn’t seem to reconcile with Gerald’s teachings.
For instance, I couldn’t really wrap my mind around the whole “Threefold Law” thing. Oh sure, I understood the concept as being one of personal responsibility, but could there really be a finite number to reaping what one has sown? And what about “harm none?” While I couldn’t envision myself ever doing harm, no matter how well deserved or tempting it might be, my understanding was that one could possibly harm another simply by living a magickal life, without any malice aforethought. Something just didn’t sound right! Perhaps, I wasn’t Gardnerian material after all.
However, as I delved ever deeper into my studies, I soon learned that the “Threefold Law” was merely a guideline and that one is capable of a return that far exceeds anything they could have imagined, for good or bane. And that “an it harm none” refers to the willful and purposeful intention of doing harm to another, rather than those things that we do for the betterment of our own lives or the lives of others. Damn! I’m glad we cleared that up!
This being said, these were not the only things to throw a flying monkey wrench into my journey.
You see, at about the same time, several close friends were embarking on their own paths and so naturally, they presumed that we would link arms and dance our way into Oz together. You’ve all seen the movie, right? Certainly, this would have been the path of least resistance. Who wouldn’t want to study and practice the Craft in the company of loving friends?
Yet, I wasn’t looking for a handholding, kumbaya experience. I was seeking spiritual knowledge. Something was missing and I was fairly certain that I knew what that something was.
You see, a few years before, I had been invited by a Gardnerian group to attend an Esbat. For me, the experience was so powerful it had become the standard by which all future ritual work would be compared. I wanted to be absolutely certain that, should I commit myself to any group, that my decision would be based not on emotional attachment, but on careful consideration of the difference in Traditions and experiential knowledge it’s teachers.
Understandably, when the road ahead went one way and I veered off in the other direction, not everyone was happy. There was some anger and hurt feelings. I’d reached for an apple and piss off a grove of trees. Friendships became strained, others lost when it was presumed that my choice was based solely on my teacher’s prestige within the Wiccan community, rather than the fact that I’d spent many hours meditating, divining, studying ritual style and researching lineage before making my decision.
And so, I forged ahead on my own. No scarecrow, no Tin Man…no friggin’ Cowardly Lion! And while, no one ever said the road ahead would be paved with poppies and ya know, pleasant, opium-induced euphoria, at least I hadn’t been asked to bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West to prove my commitment to the Craft! I can’t deny however, that there might have been a few times during ritual that I’ve had the irresistible urge to utter the words, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!” but I’m fairly certain my High Priestess would have smacked me!
I must confess that I’ve met a few Wicked Witches along the way, but thankfully, they’ve long since melted into the past. I’ve been practicing British Tradition Gardnerian Wicca for about 4 years and I have become an initiate of the Tradition.
As I watch the Wizard of Oz now, I am struck by how different my life might have been had I not followed my own quest for knowledge, followed my passion and had the courage to take the road less traveled. I’ve never felt any desire to click my heels three times and be magickally returned to the Path I might have chosen. I do feel blessed to have the support of beloved family, friends and teachers in my life who truly know my heart and know that my choice was as right for me as their own.
And now, if Glinda were to ask, “Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” My response would be…
“Oh My Dear! It depends on whom you ask!”
In Darkness, Light!
"The Wizard of Oz", Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (1939)
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Location: Raleigh/Wake Forest, North Carolina
Author's Profile: To learn more about Kylia Heartsong - Click HERE
Bio: Kylia Heartsong (Tracy Frasche) is an initiate of British Tradition Gardnerian Wicca. Born on Beltaine, Tracy’s lifelong affinity for the occult arts led her on spiritual journey culminating in the discovery of this beautiful Path we know as Wicca. She has been practicing for approximately 16+ years, give or take a year and a day. In addition to her own Tradition, she is interested in Intuitive Magick, Traditional Rootwork and Shamanic Healing practices. Her other passions include reading, photography, antiquing, gardening, creative writing, poetry and Zumba (Latin/International Dance fusion) .
In speaking out publicly as a Wiccan/Witch, Tracy hopes to educate the general population about the misconceptions surrounding the Wiccan religion and the practice of Witchcraft.
She is a Jikiden Reiki practitioner certified at both the Shoden and Okuden levels. She is also a certified Reiki Master/Teacher in the Usui System of Natural Healing. She has recently completed course work as an “End of Life” Doula.
Tracy, along with her husband of 24 years, their two children and many, many…many furry babies, reside in Bergen County, New Jersey.
You can read more of Tracy’s musings at:
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