Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Faith At the Core|
Posted: January 16th. 2000
Times Viewed: 4,088
It's the Winter Solstice, 1999. It began as one of the happiest times of my life, and quickly turned into the type of life challenge that you pray to the Gods you never have to face. For the first time in my life, my sanity and rational would slip away and I would utter curses at fate. For the first time in my life, I would have to turn and lean upon the Gods I have loved and honored and served fully. For the first time in my life, I wondered if the faith and Gods I have chosen would be enough.
The season started out as one of the happiest in my life. My business was doing incredibly well, my husband loves his job, my son was healthy and happy and a blessing to my every day. We found the suburban house of our dreams with a backyard and a playroom and were making plans to purchase it, moving from our tiny apartment into that next stage of family life. I smiled when I awakened and when I fell asleep with my son nestled in my arms. Life was perfect.
My perfect life was shattered when I heard the Pediatric Cardiologist begin his diagnosis of the "probably nothing" heart murmur by saying that he wanted me to realize this was treatable, and not a death sentence. As I held my 19 month old son in my arms and the tears rolled down my cheeks, too stunned to ask questions, Dr. Johnson outlined the blockage called subaortic stenosis, a congenital heart defect.
He explained that it was a lifelong heart condition, and the open-heart surgery that my son would be required to have within the next year to have any hope at a normal life. He explained that 30 or 40 years ago, it's possible my son would have died by twenty but that with proper treatment he would probably live a long and productive live in spite of his condition.
My 19-month-old son, so soft and fragile in my arms, had been diagnosed with heart disease, and serious heart disease at that. As a mother, all I wanted to do was protect him from everything that hurt. I realized in that instant, I would be called upon to submit this tiny, trusting child that clung to me for protection to agonizing surgery to save his life. I could not take away the hurt any other way. With two words, our entire lives changed.
I've known parents that had sick children, but not well. I've seen countless episodes of Dateline in which the parents of a deathly ill child make agonizing decisions, hold tiny hands during agonizing procedures. Many of them speak of faith, usually in Jesus, which sustains them through what they have to do. Perhaps it's too difficult to do without Divine help of some sort.
My husband and I are both devoted, unwavering Pagans. We were Pagan when we met, we were Pagan when we married, and I took my vows pregnant with my son and in traditionally Celtic scarlet red dress. It is the Pagan community that welcomed our child with wishes and words of love when he came into this word. He was named for the dragon. Never, though, have I needed my faith so much.
If you don't have a child, it's hard to explain how it feels to be told that your child is ill. The kind of chaotic emotions you feel when you are powerless to help, the numb and defeated feelings that take over when you realize that no matter what you do your child will feel great pain. That he will suffer. And that you will suffer with him because that is your child and that is your job. You must be there, and you must subject him to the brutal healing of medical science because that is the only way he will live.
Like those parents I have seen before me, I have my faith. My faith and my relationship with the Old Ones has always been one of self-responsibility. I honor Them, and I love Them, and I serve Them, but very rarely have I called upon them to help me because I am simply too powerless to get through something on my own. Never have I simply laid something at Their feet and begged for Their aid. I always knew that I could, if I had to. I simply never felt that I should burden Them with something I could deal with.
This I could not get through without Their complete support, because I knew in that doctor's office that I was incapable of the type of strength I needed to help my family through this, and to be a calming influence on my son. I didn't think I could do it, alone.
I could not speak, I could not think, I could not talk. I was scared to death. The season of the dark turning had enveloped me and I could see no promise of the light. I saw the suffering of my child that I would have to watch and endure, something broken that I could not kiss away, tears that I could not stop. Pain. I saw pain.
I begged Her, from one mother to another, to help me heal my son. I asked Her to help me find the pattern in this, to help me see the light after this horrible darkness. I sat in a darkened room sobbing harder than I ever had in my life, my fingers touching the Brigit's Cross around my neck, and asked her to help me handle the trials to come and to lend me the strength I would need to face what I must do.
In the silence, in the darkness, I heard a harp, and saw my son laughing as a grown man. I saw him strong, and healthy, with his arm around me, kissing my cheek and calling me "Mother" in that chastising way I imagine he would say it to me now if he had the words. The cross on my throat grew warm to the touch and I heard a voice whisper "You can and you will and you are and I am always here." And then in my mind's eye the laughing of my son-to-be grew quiet as he fingered the gold Brigit's Cross about his neck.
I knew in that moment that as hopeless as this may seem, She would be there to help me through this, no matter what happens. That my son will grow through this, and that our relationship will grow stronger because I will be the strength for him that She will be for me, and when I cannot be there in surgery or in an intensive care unit after the operation, that She will be. She will not let my son go through anything alone.
That, finally, is the strength of faith in times of crisis. Knowing that we are not alone, that at the core of all religions is the love that binds us all to one another. Faith in the Gods we serve, and faith in the visions They send us to comfort, faith in the love They have for us. It is a life raft to clutch on to when you are adrift in a sea of confusion and pain and hopelessness, a cane to help walk the road you must walk, and a wall to lean on when you feel you can't stand on your own anymore.
I can make it through this. My faith will sustain me through it, and my Gods will help me through it. In a situation where there is almost no comfort or ease to be found, it may be the most important thing there is.
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