I awoke yesterday morning, well before the sun, to ready myself for the day ahead. Three days a week I am on the road for an early commute and, try as I may, my exit out the door is slightly less than graceful. To be clear I am never late to my destination, but it isn’t a leisurely walk to the car whistling an Irish tune either.
Yesterday morning there was a thick, low hanging fog that hugged the mountains as I drove. It was as if they’d been lovers all night and, as the sun began to cast light on them, we were interrupting their union with all of our activity. I found it beautiful and almost didn’t want it to go away, though it was doing just that with each mile I drove. I thought, as I drove through the reluctantly dispersing fog, how this was similarly reflecting life right now.
If any of you reading this have followed this blog for any length of time, you will know that I have, over the years, cleansed and purged it to varying degrees…sometimes completely, as is the case this time. In much the same way I smudge my home or take cleansing magical baths, I often have the need to cleanse my sacred writing space as well.
Something happened this past weekend that was, in a sense, the most cleansing act I have ever done in my life. In fact, I have never before felt so simultaneously strong and free, yet sad at the same time. For those of you new to this blog (and a refresher to others) I was born into what I consider a cult, an extreme sect of fundamentalism called the IFB, with my father as the leader and nearly all of my family in some way still connected to it. I escaped that belief system and established my own path, the one in which I’ve always felt called, though it has taken me an extremely long and painful journey to get here. I am also the victim of rape and sexual assault, a painful emotional process all its own.
This past weekend, I participated in my local Women’s March here in Asheville. I marched with my tribe from Mother Grove Goddess Temple, a group of wonderful pagan, witchy women. Before leaving for the march that morning I stood and lit candles, calling on all my guides and ancestors to come and go with me. “I’m going to need you today,” I said to them. I told the ancestors I was marching for the women in our family…past, present and future…who feel they have no voice due to strict religious beliefs. Many are okay with that but some are not. I marched for them all, and the Ancestors went with me. I marched for other rape victims, for sexual assault survivors like myself, for the LGBT community, and for those of us of different faiths, to name a few. I marched for the first time in my life (against all of my introvert instincts), because it was simply too important not to do so. And I felt strong and free because I did. It wasn’t until the next day, when reflecting on the events, that I felt some sadness. You see, I have made certain to show restraint on social media accounts where my family is connected to me. I have, over the years, censored myself greatly by not posting my full beliefs or political views. Superficiality and sarcasm is, after all, the glue that holds our family together. There comes a time, however, when something happens in life that is big enough and important enough to you that you stand up and say “This is not okay with me!” For me, that time finally came with the march. I posted my march pictures proudly. I voiced my support of planned parenthood and so on, but in doing so I realized that I was completely alone now in my conservative Trump supporting family, just as I always knew I would be, and had more than likely ostracized myself for good.
My “coming out” as a liberal, feminist pagan, has propelled me to come back to writing. I feel much more freedom now to say this is who I am and I am not ashamed. I have updated my “About Me” page to reflect this and the direction of the blog will, likewise, follow suit. I am a Hedge witch, and I will write here about the things that are part of my magickal path. Everything in my life is a reflection of my particular form of spirituality, from my politics to how I stir my coffee each morning. All of these things will now be reflected within my sacred writing space more than they ever have been before. You are welcome to join me here as often as you’d like, and may you, too, find the freedom you need to be yourself in this world.