When I found witchcraft/Wicca/Native American spirituality - I found a very centering force. Centering, calming. It's exactly like when other people find their own religion - there is a click.
Over the years I did stop with the religious aspects of Wicca. I'm just not into altars and joining a 'church' (probably coven, in this case). I am, however, a huge believer of the power of energy. I have many crystals and rocks all over my house, I use them as decoration. They've also been cleansed in the ocean several times, and blessed as protective devices. They're just pretty rocks to anyone else. I use candles ALL THE TIME because they help me concentrate my mental energy on my prayer - exactly like every other religion uses them. In fact, I have been surprised SO MUCH at how may symbols and rituals overlap ALL of the religions of the world. Including the super weird ones. Ha. (EXCEPT maybe Scientology because that one is bat crap crazy, even coming from a practicing WITCH like me.)
Witchery is all about using nature, becoming in tune with nature, and feeling the power of 'the force' that surrounds us all. I cannot create a spell that would affect someone, like make them crash their car (oh how much road rage I could have dealt with that way) and besides, even if I could, I wouldn't. That shit comes back on you 3X3 - it's a boomerang that, on it's way back to you, takes a detour through a nuclear plant so when your own spell comes home it has evil tentacles and teeth and it will EAT YOU UP. No shit, you don't mess with negative magic. Not even if stupid Linda Everson DID start dating the boy you like right before Homecoming. Nope. The most basic tenant of witchcraft is "And it harm none" - you do not use magic to manipulate people. Period. Unless you are willing to pay the price. I'm not.
I have some books - my favorite witchy author is Helen Dugan. She's funny, a garden witch, and she's actually a garden genius - a Master Gardener with a degree from University of Missouri. Needless to say, my little patio is a pale ghost of what her extensive gardens are. But I'm working it.
It was when I found, really found, witchcraft that I started being able to protect myself both psychically and physically, And it wasn't until I met Jeff and moved to San Diego that I really started putting any energy into learning at all. I mean, I had been into it since Mike was a small child, but it was moving to SD that triggered me to get serious. So, my question - was it some vibe I got from San Diego, which has a bigger military presence than anywhere else in the states - that gave me a shove between my shoulder blades? Or was it just coincidence?
I don't believe in coincidence.
OH and that word, Witchcraft. Yeesh. Makes you think of evil. But see, in it's most basic form, witchcraft is about the same things as say, Catholicism. There is prayer. There are candles. There are God(s) and Godesses to pray to, like Jesus and Mary and the whole army of saints we have in the Catholic church. A prayer is a spell is a prayer. Both use candles to concentrate the meaning and the essence of the plea. Both use the power of positive energy to call forth assistance. And both require you to then get off your own ass, get out of your own way, and quietly go about making that request happen in THIS realm, so that the god/goddess can assist in THEIR realm. It's ritual, and faith. It's love and compassion and searching for answers. Same destination, different road.
*Scooby Doo Wavey Lines and Music Here* (scene change)
Back when Mike was 2, I was dating a guy named Greg. He was ex Navy, and he was a cop. He was about the 5th example of someone being police/military and coming into my life, but I hadn't recognized it yet. [Please remember I didn't know a damned thing about the military. The day I figured out that all those movies? Those black & white war movies, like with John wayne? Some were in Europe, some were in Africa, some were in the South Pacific -hey! All those movies were about the same fucking war! Shyeah. It took me until I was in my 30's to realize that little piece of info. I had no clue, is what I'm saying.] Anywhozle.
This Greg guy was part um... Cuban? I think. His mother came from the Caribbean. His mother at this time lived way out in the California desert in a mobile home park, and I had met her once, mayve twice I think. She was nice enough to me but a scary old shriveled up broad out in the desert - no nature, no trees, no water. Just the piercing hot sun and dirt roads and cactus/shrubs and wind and burnt out shells of cars once in a while and MILES to the nearest grocery. Anyway, SHE was into Santaria. Now, by it's self, Santaria is just another witchy religion. Howevs - much like voodoo, which IS REAL, it goes off the rails on Ozzy's train very easily. These are religions that use blood sacrifice (say, a chicken) and bones and um - they can be a bit more INTENSE than say, my happy tree=hugging version. I had JUST barely even started researching Wicca. I had found my first new-age store and was busy in my little life surrounding myself with positive energy and taking baby steps and reading and all that. So I met this woman, we chatted about magic and Wicca and Santeria and she encouraged me in my path, and then it was time to leave and we trooped home and that was the end of it.
So it's a couple weeks later, and me, I was falling fast in LOVE with this Greg guy. (hindsight? he liked me well enough, but I was a puppy wagging it's tail and he was rather 'meh' about the whole thing.) I had found a pink quartz ring - pink being the color of romantic love and quartz being a very happy, focusing, positive energy type of stone. Actually I got one for each of us. They looked like this:
It was very sweet, small, unobtrusive, light - you know, just a little circle. I had blessed it at home. I convinced Greg to go with me to Laguna Beach, where all the rocks and tide pools are. We walked down to the crashing waves, beautiful day coming to an end. I had him take off the crystal he was wearing on a chain that his mom had given him <--do you hear the ominous music?, I said my little positive energy lets get serious about each other spell, I slipped to little pink ring onto the chain with the crystal, he put it back on. And then swear to god, as the sun was setting the entire ocean turned pink. PINK. Greg was amazed - hell I was amazed. I kept squealing 'I did it!' and laughing like a loon. He smiled at me, told me I was cute, and we went to go get dinner. I had put the ring on the same chain as the crystal, see, because his mother had given him that crystal and I figured two positive things together could only help each other, right? I put the other ring on MY necklace with MY crystal, which I still have (the crystal I mean, not the ring). It has a little amethyst glued on, I should totally wear that thing!
We get back to my apartment and I'm still so excited (it's like i followed a recipe for a very complicated souffle and it came out PERFCT the first time) (notice I am just, in my puppy dog way, assuming that Greg feels the same way as me and we are now like, JOINED and yeah, i'm embarassed at my younger self. I cringe.)
Anywhozle, we call his mom. I can't remember why - and it's 1993 so my phone is still attached to the wall in my kitchen with a curly cord. I tell her ALL! ABOUT! IT! and then tell her I put the little ring on the same chain as the crystal she gave Greg. And people, this shit hit the fan. She started YELLING at me and my eyes were bugging out and Greg was reaching for the phone, and I was trying to explain (she had always been nice to me so WTF?) and she was going off like "you have NO IDEA what you've done! You don't know why I gave him that crystal! You don't know what spells/enchantments I put on it! I mean... He finally grabbed the phone and I was in tears of confusion and he hung up the phone. And he unfastened that necklace so fast... he *yoinked* that crystal off and went out and put it in his car. I think he put the pink ring in his pocket. Then he said to me: "I have been in 3 serious wrecks in the last year while being a cop, on pursuits. All three times I was wearing that crystal. I assumed it helped save me. NOW? I assume she may have been trying to hurt me" -
1. They had not had a fabulous relationship while he was growing up - I was putting this together at this point. She had (I now believe) a lot of evil in her. She lived all alone waaaay out away from people for a reason. Don't the bad witches always do that?
2. He knew that whatever I had done to that little pink ring could not POSSIBLY have been a bad thing. He knew me, he knew my heart (even if he didn't take care of it) and he knew enough about witchcraft that there was no way whatever that little ring was, that it could do ANYTHING to the aura around that crystal. UNLESS. Unless that crystal wasn't working for good. If that was the case, my little pink ring would (slightly) mess with whatever was going on there. And that would be the reason she would get so mad.
That was the most scared I had ever been up to that point. Suddenly I knew for certain sure, she was going to attack. Me and my baby. And I was a fledgling infant in this stuff, compared to her Crone. So that night - that night. Mike and I were sleeping in the same bed (tiny apartment) and I laid there and thought BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT around us for hours. Thouroughly. From his head, into his eyes, his nose, his mouth, around his arms and legs and body - I imagined bright white protection light over every inch of us. Then our bed. Then when I had us glowing, I did the bedroom. Moved on to the apartment - every cupboard, the toilet, all electrical outlets. Bright white pulsing protection energy. Then my car. I was awake for a few hours, just concentrating and holding him and PUSHING all of this energy out and sucking it in and creating an energy fortress around us. And thank jeebus I had the know-how for that. Because she never got to me. I was in danger, you bet.
She told Greg in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome around her ever again. I said PSHHYEAH! like that would ever happen.
It was very, very odd and creepy. Coming from someone who's entire life has been odd and creepy.
And it got me started wondering - if me as a fledgling baby in the world of witchcraft could make an old crone bad witch like that lose her cool, what sort of thing did that say about me? So I started practicing more.
I may not be able to bend spoons. Or win at blackjack. I can't do a lot of what people assume witches can do. But protection spells? yep. Connect with my dead friend Byron? yep. And I can visualize something so well that I can actually make it happen.
But that is a story for another time.
OH! Once I broke things off with that asshole Greg for the final time, I went on a bike ride at Newport/Huntington beach. there is an inlet with a little bike/walking bridge over it, kind of a place for the water to go at high tide. I stopped and rested and looked at the water and right then reached into my pocket and tossed that ring into the ocean. Let nature claim it back, let time and tide wash it clean. I never, ever looked back.
Here's a picture of me about to clean my house. :)