I played the edges of the metaphysical world for some time before I met my first self professed witch. A technical writer in Atlanta, I had a lot of time on my hands waiting for our project to begin. A coworker told me about a metaphysical bookstore she though I would enjoy. I went to hear a man talk about reincarnation. While much of what he had to say sounded really hokey at the time, the experience stayed with me. Having found the bookstore, I returned for a what I then called a Halloween celebration which hosted free readings (fortune telling). Afterward, participants were invited to the parking lot for a Wiccan circle. My best friend Dell and I stepped in circle and were transformed. I knew I was called to be a priestess.
I don’t ordinarily see energy with eyes of this world, but I did that night. I saw the blue light of the circle as it was laid. I saw the blue flame come down and dance the blade of the priest’s athame. I was entranced with the circle. I began classes at the bookstore with Lord Galen Firestorm and called myself Weaver. I completed my classes and the year and a day requirement. I did not initiate with him because I did not believe his path was mine. So I continued to seek.
My seeking led me to another group, called the Grove of the Unicorns. Lady Galadrial was not accepting students, unfortunately. But she did arrange introduction at another bookstore where I met Lady Amber and Lord Alex. My best friend Dell accompanied me. I’ll never forget Alex sitting on the floor cross legged talking about listening to the change of seasons in the wind. I felt like I had come home. We became a part of their grove. My friend became Spinner and I was Weaver.
Wiccans are human and make mistakes. Especially when charismatic men with talent misrepresent their intentions and manipulate the truth. When I finally clued in to the damage my boyfriend had done behind my back, it was too late. Everyone believed him over me. I lost everything because of that man, including my home, my children, and my spiritual community. For six months I even lost my best-friend until she twigged to the danger of that former boyfriend. I turned in my crystal, a representation of my place in the Wiccan community, and moved to South Carolina to start over.
Some months later I received a formal apology from my former priest and priestess. My son called to say that he had been wrong. But the damage was done and I had moved on. I finally received that first initiation at the hands of Lady Gena Moonkist. I became Grace. Lady Moonkist created a ritual drama of the journey of Persephone. As I walked a spiral of lights, my eclectic community challenged me, stripping me of the past. As I stood before my priest who channeled Kali, I finally understood that divinity existed within me. It was the last amazing gift she gave me before my world blew apart yet again.
I’ve seen two priestess loose their faith. It is a grievous experience to watch such spiritual crisis. Due to illness, Lady Moonkist had to step away from her role as priestess for a while. I don’t know if she has found her path again. I bless her presence at the ritual and transformation she facilitated. At yet another pagan bookstore I found Lady Alauda.
Lady Alauda eventually announced that she was ready to give me my second degree and then did not show up at the next circle. I believe it was part of my challenge for second to tell the group members what had happened and to request the ritual. As flashy, beautiful and powerful as my first ritual had been, I did not expect the same for the second. I was over ready for the first, like a kid with her nose pressed against a door too long, which had become painful. The second degree was like having doors opened and simply gliding through. Unfortunately, Lady Alauda had lost her way. She disbanded her grove and sent us on our way. The new community was not my place. My partner and I left the group.
In the mean time, I began graduate school for marriage and family therapy. The journey transformed me again. I knew I wanted to be a priestess the first time I stepped in circle. There was nothing I wanted more than to be a third degree high priestess. I had looked to the leaders of groves and covens, and wanted to do the things they did. My calling was clear, but my path was not. Those were hard years of trial and disillusionment.
The eclectic circle of elders in our community once again gathered and they were the ones to guide me through the ritual of my third degree. I became Lady Grace Dreamweaver, Priestess and Daughter to the Gods. A loose collection of wise ones, representatives of our community, witnessed my third degree. Mine is not a path that traces its roots to a heritage or a hide bound tradition. I think of my calling as having become incorporated in with my journey to become a therapist. It has been a spiritual journey leading to a much broader path than I expected those many years ago. It took ten years for my path to spiral to that third degree. It has been several years since that ceremony. I continue my to feed my spiritual self with a loose collection of women of whom only a few would call themselves either pagan or Wiccan. Not at all what I envisioned when I was in Atlanta. Yet so much more than the restrictions of a grove or coven would ever embrace.