I wish that there were a word to describe what happens when you're not actively "thinking" about something, but when you are aware that the topic is, I don't know, bubbling, fermenting, composting, working, just below your level of consciousness. Ever since Sunday when my wonderful circle of witches had our annual retreat, I've been -- composting? -- the idea of how complicated it is, and, yet, also, what a gift it is, to live within a circle of women. Real women, not the idealized ones you imagine when you come to Wicca and spend months and maybe years longing for a coven, but the real ones that you encounter when you finally do. I just am, for no reason that I can imagine, fortunate to find myself in a circle of maidens, mothers, and crones who tell each other the truth, even when that truth may wound, in the belief that we'll work through the truth faster than we could ever work through convenient lies:
I can't do ritual at your house because your life is too chaotic.
I may not be able to stay in this circle and have an infant and an job and a husband and another child and parents and a home.
I'll make whatever concessions I can so that you can stay in this circle with all those commitments and I'll love you if you have to say, "Time Out."
I want everyone to shut up when my cards are being read.
I need a real friend and not someone who just emails me once in a while.
I wonder at the exclusive focus on women in this circle.
Will you all still love me when you know everything about my sexuality?
Is it ok for me to be afraid at the role you've all asked me to assume?
Can we become more focused during deep magic and still like each other?
Am I asking for too much?
It's not that this process interferes with spiritual development, at least for me. It's that this process IS spiritual development. For several reasons, I spent the early mornings leading up to our annual retreat thinking of the women who've, over the years, left our circle and moved on to other things, for good and for ill. I am, my soul is, this trip around the wheel for me is, tied up with the women with whom I've done magic.
It's all real. It's all metaphor There's always more.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."