Hail Ganesha! Hail Kali! I’m coming up on some important anniversaries and I’d like to share them with you because they relate to Paganism and some of you may get something from the experiences. If so, keep reading, if not, that’s okay too 🙂
July 20th will be the 19th Anniversary of my father’s passing (it’s also Warrior Women’s Weekend so if I seem a little off, that is why) I remember being so angry with God (I wasn’t quite a Pagan yet) that I swore the day he died I was done with any kind of spirituality. I told myself I was an atheist! I was done with God because God did nothing to stop my dad from dying… again, I was 15 years old and very angry.
I was Christian in name only…and that was fading fast. I was already exploring different spiritual paths and Paganism was introduced to me a year before by a close friend. I wasn’t ready to take the plunge yet…I kept asking if I could be both. I know there are Christo-Pagans out there and I respect that path, yet for me it wasn’t going to work. Either I was one or the other. Paganism kept coming into my life and I kept reading although I hadn’t considered myself a Pagan.
My dad and I were close. So close that I spent 6 years of my life being his primary caregiver when he went blind, his kidneys failed and a host of other medical issues occurred. I didn’t know my dad’s condition was terminal. The internet wasn’t a thing yet and my parents decided, for whatever reason, not to tell me that my dad was not going to be around much longer. The entire experience came as a traumatic shock and I even did CPR on him as he died in my arms a 5:15 AM. When he died, my purpose ended and I was lost.
A few months later, I was in school and it hit me I was never seeing my dad physically again. I had a counselor telling me this over and over yet it hadn’t sunk in. I remember walking in the hallways of school and collapsing on the floor. It hit me so hard that I shook and felt like I was dying. I had nothing to live for and thoughts (and attempts) of suicide rampaged though my mind. I hated my life and wanted a way out. Luckily a friend kept urging me towards reading books on Paganism and I found comfort in those words.
My world was filled with reading suddenly… Silver Ravenwolf (LAUGH ALL YOU WANT) Scott Cunningham, D.J. Conway were now my new friends and taking me on a grand adventure. My path to find a purpose was becoming quite clear. It was Mabon that my life took a different route. Instead of practicing the faith I was told to practice, I chose my own path. It was the first time in my life that I did something for myself instead of what my dad or another family member needed. I wasn’t taught to take care of myself, only others and it left a detrimental mindset that has taken years to work through. I am happily on my way out of the cave and into the sunlight on that note.
September 23rd is the 19th anniversary of when I self-dedicated and foreshadowed the future. I had the Silver Ravenwolf “Teen Witch” dedication ritual, a few candles, some incense (yucky Walmart brand Frankincense, lol) And I read aloud my deceleration to the Craft. The wind blew… the pages turned and I lost my place yet I kept going. I spoke to the (I lived in Florida as a teenager) pine trees and Spanish moss, to the palmetto bushes and the fire ants and made my first spontaneous ritual. I loved the rush of making my own rituals so much that I kept that tradition all these years later.
My friend Oakbear gave me the ability to say goodbye in the proper way. As a Pagan should honor their dying and remember their dead without being lost in the past. Deeply Rooted has further cemented me into Paganism and has given me the wonderful opportunity of being not only a ritualist yet also a writer who can contribute to a much wider community. 19 years later, and moving closer to Mabon I’m reflecting on my life and the path that Paganism has taken me. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way and even for the hardships because they’ve made me grow as a person for the better.
It’s also been 19 years of knowing, interacting with, and being schooled by Kali Ma. She has taken me from a girl who didn’t know her self-worth to a woman who is a mother and a writer who uses her own life experiences to relate to others. I am blessed for the friendships I’ve made because of Her and honor Her and Ganesha for removing my obstacles and being a driving force in my life to achieve more than I was led to believe. I’m in a good place right now, and not just a temporary one. I’m getting better at facing hardships and learning how to put my foot down.
Has Paganism done this for you? What are your stories? If you sat through my novel, I’ll happily sit through yours. Feel free to share them below or PM me. I think it’s the kind of day that we should share these experiences and share them often.