Best of the Week: May 20th


Re-finding my Footing on the Pagan Path

For just a while, I wandered off my path and lost my way.

The stress at work was overwhelming me and I tried to shield my Spirituality from that stress instead of using my Spirituality to shield myself from it.  Compartmentalising my life seemed like such a good idea at the time.

While I was at work, with the stressful thoughts and emotions, I suppressed my Spirituality because I did not want any negative associations to filter through from my work persona.  While I was at work, my emotions went into overdrive, and I used up my supply of energy trying to maintain control.  When I got home at night, my energy was depleted and though I tried, I simply could not summon enough energy to nurture my Spirit; after a few weeks, I felt disconnected from my Spirituality. 

The tenuous balance that existed between my Spirit, Intellect and Emotions was gone, and in its place was a sense of hopelessness and soon I sank into a deep depression.  I refused to acknowledge the depression because I felt that, as a Witch, I should be immune to experiencing depression.  I was left in a state of confusion, with conflicting thoughts and emotions.  Having always felt that I cannot profess to believe one thing and then live in contradiction to that belief, I was not able to reconcile my actions and my beliefs.

As my depression deepened, I felt more like a fraud because I kept thinking that as a Witch, I have the power to change myself but by this time I realised that I did not have the confidence in myself to even make the attempt.  I could no longer step into Circle in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust because both were lacking to me as a Solitary Witch; but I held on to my Rituals as a drowning person holds on to a life line.

Self-doubt and self-loathing, lack of energy and the tumultuous imbalance I was experiencing destroyed my ability to see a future; I felt that suicide was an option.  When I decided that the only way I could find peace was in death, I made my plans deliberately, knowing that in doing so I was turning my back on the most basic belief that I held – An it harm none.  At first I tried to convince myself that those who loved me would get over the pain and move forward with their lives but the quiet whisper that remained of my Spirit refused to let me lie to myself.

On a warm Sunday afternoon I took off my Pentagram and took an overdose of tablets,  The hours that followed were the worst of my life.

I survived that attempt at suicide but was left with a deep sense of guilt over how much I had strayed from my path, I felt that I no longer had the right to call myself a Witch.  My Pentagram, something I had worn close to my heart for so long that it seemed a part of me, remained packed away.  New Moons, Full Moons and Sabbats came and went, I was still attuned to them but felt that I did not deserve to hold Ritual because I was no longer worthy of the Path.  During that time I felt like an outsider to my own life, the isolation from practicing my Craft left me bereft and incredibly lonely. 

Finally, I could stand it no more and I pulled out my second Book of Shadows, reading through it with a heaviness within my Spirit for all that I had discarded; and an aching longing to return to the Path.

Then I came across the following entry, which I had written in September 2005:

“As I prepare for Esbat tonight, I am reminded of how little I know, overwhelmed by how much I still have to learn.

I feel the Magick, I sense a strength and understanding that is just beyond my consciousness.

I am torn in many directions and struggle to find my path, not sure which direction to take.  I have made a choice and that is that this BOS should be a way of learning, a legacy to my future so that if I loose my way later in life, I can turn these pages and find it once again.”

I remembered how I had felt when I wrote that entry, how I had wanted that Book of Shadows to be more about Spirit than about Spells. 

I then paged forward and found another entry, one written in October 2005:

“In the raging turmoil of my mind, I remember words that make me want to weep:  There is no Right Choice or Wrong Choice; there is only Choice.  What do I Choose?”

Words that had wanted to make me weep before, now filled me with hope.

After reading these two entries, I felt the weight of self-judgement lift and the burden of my self-imposed isolation melted away.

When I entered my Circle again, for the first time in many months, I felt as though I was Home.  I was at peace and I was safe. 

Blessed be the feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, from whence comes all life.
Blessed be thy breast, formed in beauty to nurture that life.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall speak to us, your children.

These words resonate within my soul with a new, and deeper, meaning because I know how truly Blessed I am to be on this Path

Being Pagan is not about adhering to rules, nor is it about judgement and punishment; instead it is about learning, growing and honouring the connection between my Spirit and the Universe. 

Like all lessons that I learn in my journey on this Path, I put it all in my Book of Shadows because I know that sometimes I forget, or sometimes I need to learn the same lessons at a deeper level so that I can grow Spiritually.

I understand now, more than ever before, that I cannot seperate my Spirituality from any other part of my life because I am always a Witch and everything I do, see, hear, learn and experience is done from my being as a Witch.  I have also learned that I cannot take my Spirituality for granted and that I need to ensure that I use my energy wisely so that there is always enough to nurture my Spirit.

Blessed Be.

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