Dear Silver RavenWolf,
I’m writing you this letter to thank you for helping me get started on the path to Witchcraft and Paganism. I want to tell you the tale of how I came you and your inspirational writing so you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it had on my life. I was 14 years old when the first copy of “Teen Witch” fell into my hands from one of my Wiccan friends who had her own high school coven. At the time, I was fence sitting between a very poor understanding of Christianity as explained to me by my Grandmother and this new path, modern Paganism. I remember being so afraid to make a choice between those worlds that I actually asked my friend, “Well, can I be both?”
My Wiccan friend at the time explained it to me while passing Teen Witch into my hands. I remember being so upset at not understanding what was going on at the time. “You can’t be both. You’re one or the other. It isn’t Paganism that has an issue with you being Christian, it’s Christianity that has an issue with Pagans. Those two belief systems don’t work together because of the fundamental tenets of each.” I remember the hot tears rolling down my face as the insecurity of leaving Christianity behind began to raise the bile up in my throat. I had to get answers from some one I trusted more than just a girl I’d known in high school for just a few months.
I brought the book home and thumbed through the pages. I didn’t give it the attention that it deserved. My home life was less than perfect. My dad was dying from end-stage renal failure and needed a lot of my help and my mother, of whom I had never been close to worked a full time job as a nurse. Spirituality was the realm that my father ruled over because he was the only parent that spoke strongly of his beliefs. You couldn’t call my father Catholic, although he was raised to be a devout practitioner of that particular path. He was fairly open-minded and was always up for some kind of debate as to the nature of things. I look back on it now and I see my dad struggling to see reality in much the same way I have done in my adult life.
I asked my dad about the nature of God, the universe, and even the powers of the mind. At the time, I was opening my mind to the reality that Magick existed and I was not crazy when I put my intention in something and it came true. My dad explained that no one really knows the true answer and that we either have to follow our hearts or follow our minds to the answer that is right for us. Some people find a lot of validity in Christianity and that’s alright for them. It does not give anyone the right to “hi-jack” your spirituality no matter what path they serve. I didn’t come out and tell my dad that I was considering Paganism yet I have the overwhelming feeling that he already knew that the tide was turning for his daughter. My dad had some natural intuition that I’m only now beginning to recognize as I raise my own five girls.
When my dad passed from this world on July 20th, 1999, my entire world changed. First, I was angry at God and told the universe that I was done believing in fairy tales and bible stories. Then I found that there was a scary, black emptiness that accompanied me during this time. It was depression, repressed memories of childhood and a host of other dark thoughts that occur to teenagers when they loose a parent. I was alone in the world, or so I thought at the time. My Wiccan friend was long gone out of my life and was no longer there to talk to since during my initial shock of losing my dad, I told her off and said things that I shouldn’t have said to another person.
All I had was the title of a book to give me some kind of direction in life. I went to my nearest Walden Books and bought myself a copy with the money from my summer job. I poured over the pages and studied each section carefully. No longer having my dad for any kind of direction, Paganism began to take root in my heart as a form of guidance. It was your words, Silver, that inspired me during the darkest time of my life. I remember Mabon of 1999 when I swore my first Oath to uphold all that being a Witch was, according to your book. In fact, while performing the ritual, the page got away from me and I was inspired to make my own ritual to put the most of my self into the promise.
Thank you, Silver RavenWolf. Eighteen years have come and gone by since I took those first awkward steps on my path. I’ve made a lot of mistakes yet I’ve also done a lot of good things with my life. I’ve recognize my own passion to write and you’ve been an inspiration for that realization. I’m going to be a Pagan writer myself and follow in your footsteps. I’ve found a wonderful Pagan community full of teachers, friends, and challenges that force me to be a better person. That Community, Deeply Rooted, is where I’m currently pursuing the path of ordained Pagan Clergy. While so much of my beliefs have evolved since reading your book and I don’t agree with everything you’ve written, I do recognize the amazing work you did to show so many wayward girls and boys another way of doing things.
This blessing is for you, Silver. May you always have the inspiration you seek to achieve your goals. May your writing always impress upon your readers all the potential that Neo-Paganism has and challenge them to find answers to questions that they seek. May you live a long, comfortable life and may you always have a voice in our community. Thank you for the memories, the adventures, and the personal realization that there is always a choice to be a better person than you were born. May you always know that fact, Silver! Blessed Be!
PS: Congratulations on your new book and line of candles! I’m excited to work with them!