Merry Meet Friends and Lurkers:
So, as most of you know, we've lived here in Ridgewood for about 14 years. It seems strange to hear myself say that. Has it really been that long? It's so much different than the place I grew up. It really is a lovely place to live, with a strong sense of community and family values. It's just so...blissfully friggin' normal!
While my husband and I have managed to find our niche here, after having recently "outted" myself to the entire community, I think it's safe to assume that we will NEVER fit in amongst the "Ridgewood Elite." Chances are I will not be invited to join the Ridgewood Women's Club. As heartbreaking as that may be for some, since it's not something I've ever aspired to, I think I'll survive somehow. We feel that it's a really sad state of affairs when you have to deny who you are in order to fit in. This is something we continue to impress upon our kids as well. Quite frankly, "fitting in" is highly overated and rather denotes a lack of courage, in my humble opinion.
I am well aware that there are those who undoubtedly shake their heads condescendingly, imagining how sad it must be that I've deluded myself and my family into believing in the power of Witchcraft or that I put my faith in a religion that reveres the Earth, aligns itself with the phases of the sun and moon and celebrates the seasons. Yet, I can absolutely appreciate why that might be so difficult for some to grasp. Given the stereotypical bullshit and negativity fostered by the media, I might have a difficult time wrapping my mind around it as well, if...I didn't know what I know now. Still, you'll not hear me ask for understanding or even acceptance, but merely a mind that is willing to consider the possibilities.
As children, we are blessed with an undeniable, wide-eyed innocence that finds the magic in everything. We believe, without question, in the existence of Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. As parents, we try to prolong those beliefs for as long as possible in order to preserve that childhood innocence. Think about that. Why do we find that so important? Is it merely the loss of innocence that concerns us so or perhaps, the loss of something deeper? If you can think back to a time when that sense of enchantment was still a part of your life, you will glimpse the essence of what brought me to a path of spirituality, kinship, sensuality, empowerment, beauty and yes, magick.
As we grow into adults the realities of life tend to color our perceptions. We are taught to conclude that there must be a "logical" explanation for even those things that often defy logic. We lose our magick. I have since learned that "logical" explanations should not always be my first consideration. I've experienced too many things in this lifetime that can't ever be defined logically. That's not to suggest that they don't exist, but that they only occupy one corner of the many realms of possibility.
When I think back to my own childhood, my family had their own "quirky" beliefs. I presumed these were things shared by everyone, so I never questioned where they came from. What do I mean by "quirky?" Ok, well, say someone happened to drop their fork from the dinner table, my Mom would announce, "company's coming". I found the fact that she could predict one's arrival based simply upon the slip of a utensil utterly....fascinating! Can you imagine the impact on a child's impressionable mind when later company did, in fact, arrive?! My Aunt Mary would warn us not to piss off anyone, lest they put the "malocchio" or evil eye on us. I also remember being told that a bird accidently flying into the house was portentious of a death. What is perfectly obvious to me now is that my family was practicing a diluted form of Italian folk magick!
As a result of growing up with these little "quirky" family traits, I often found myself looking for signs or omens in things like the weather, the turning leaves, rocks, the behavior of animals, as well other more mundane occurrences. Admittedly, all this holds much more significance for me now that there's an entire magickal system behind it.
Speaking of signs, have you heard that The Farmer's Almanac is predicting one of the coldest Winters we've had in centuries! It has indeed been much cooler at this time of the season than it has in recent years. The pansies I planted at Samhain have confirmed this prediction. While they usually thrive beautifully until February, I now find their little heads droop mournfully and they seemed huddled together against the soil as if to keep warm.
On a recent particularly cold, windy morning, I stepped outside to find a plant that my friend, Niki, had given me at the Spring Equinox, blown face down on our deck. Where it had once been filled with beautiful multi-colored daisies that heralded the arrival of Spring, it now lay completely lifeless, withered and bare. I didn't have the heart to throw it away but....how friggin' depressing! I shivered against the wind, pulling my bathrobe tightly around me and wondered what the Winter might bring. Damn Farmers! What are they doing predicting the weather anyway?! Don't they have something more interesting to do...like, oh I don't know, farm!
Despite the gloomy forecast however, this November has also marked a significant turning point for me on my path. While I'll not say more, let it suffice that neither sign, nor omen was necessary to recognize that everything in my life thus far had led me to that moment.
Perhaps a day or so after I'd reached this milestone, I happened to be passing by the window and out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed :::cringe:: the first flakes of the season and no, I'm not referring to my neighbors. Yes, this was clearly an unmistakable sign!! It was an omen that I could expect to spend the next six months freezing my ass off!! I watched the little happily dancing snowflakes swirling around my deck....content in the knowledge that they were pissing me off, but then, I noticed something else. At first I thought it must be my imagination, because it just didn't seem, well, "logical". I stepped out into the falling snow, only to find my poor, pitiful, potted daisies, blooming vibrantly! "But, that's just not possible", I concluded. Just a day or two before, they weren't only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead! As I left the house that morning....I noticed that a few of our roses had bloomed as well.
There are signs along all of our paths in life that seem meaningless, yet hold hidden truths that reveal themselves in time. Then there are those whose message is crystal clear, unquestionable, and profound. Yet, one doesn't need to practice Witchcraft to recognize these signs, but merely require the trust of a child, a mind unbound by fear, a willingness of heart and the ability to embrace one's magick!
In darkness, light!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 7:29 PM