About a year and a half ago, I received a deck of oracle cards as a wedding gift. I had been hiding from my spirituality for years, as my most recent attempt at spiritual belonging had landed me in a Christian cult that told me my photograph of me kissing my boyfriend was pornographic. Ah my freshman year of college. Such fun. My initial reaction to this deck was horror, as I was properly programmed throughout my upbringing to react appropriately to anything considered “Satan worship”. But then I got curious, because college did good things for me after the whole cult nightmare, and my journey to witchcraft began.
I have always loved the dark and mysterious. I grew up watching Agatha Christie mysteries with my mom, who somehow – despite her love of murder mysteries – hates anything she calls creepy. I remember finding a bat sleeping on our front porch when I was in elementary school and desperately wanting to keep it even though I knew I couldn’t and my mom couldn’t look at it without shuddering. I remember being fascinated by trick or treating, despite Halloween being “evil” and trick or treating dangerous. My favorite episodes of shows were the creepiest ones, I loved the Nancy Drews that dealt with anything supernatural, and I was curious about so many things I wasn’t supposed to think about (sex being the main one but that’s a whole different blogpost).
I am an assimilation of all of the facets of my spirituality. And I have fought tooth and nail to get myself here. Shortly before the gift of an oracle deck – and after the sexually repressed cult – I had gone through the process of becoming Catholic, and I remain Catholic, despite rarely feeling at home in a Catholic church once the priest starts talking. I constantly search for a place to belong, somewhere that combines the grove of trees where the Wiccans do their rituals and the echoing cathedrals where the Eucharist is given and received. I want to assimilate the awe I feel in a candlelit cathedral in St. Petersburg with the sense of belonging I feel in a snowy forest, and find my spiritual home.
This Halloween was so special to me because, even though I wanted to do a Samhain ritual and completely ran out of time, I recognized it in a way I’ve always felt but never known. I’ve always loved Halloween and this year I celebrated it as a witch and a mother who hopes her son sees it for the freedom it brings and not the fear the Church sees. I want him to grow up knowing that Halloween is the one day a year anyone can be whoever they want to be, to not be afraid of the darkness but respect it, and to have so much fun and acknowledge different ways of thinking. This Samhain was healing to me because I recognized it as Samhain. I carved my own pumpkin for the first time, I decorated my home to celebrate, and I dressed up just to go outside.
Every day doesn’t feel as liberating as Samhain did. But my little rituals, my daily tarot drawing, my counterclockwise tea stirring, my love of crystals, my slow unfolding for other witches, heal me daily of the fears that were instilled in me from such a young age. Witchcraft is a craft of women, for women (not that men are not welcome), and I have never before encountered a religion that does such a revolutionary thing. It is healing to my soul, every single day.
I am lonely a lot. But I have slowly found people who feel the same as I do, who ache for that sense of belonging and cannot seem to find it in places others can. This blog is a manifestation of the desires of a few of those people and I am so grateful for it.