Merry Meet Family and Friends!
So, a few days ago I went in for my annual mental health check. Yes, in addition to one's typical yearly visits to the gynecologist, the internist, the dentist and the, ophthalmologist I in fact, go for an annual chat with my psychiatrist. Just to, ya know, make certain that my level of insanity has been unchanged since the previous year.
Now, most people would be reluctant to admit they see a psychiatrist, but I view this as an investment in my mental health. Now I can imagine what some might be thinking, "mmmmmhmmm, she thinks she's a Witch, she sees a psychiatrist, yeah, she's crazier than a bag of rats!”
“You may be right, I may be crazy, but I just may be the lunatic you’re looking for.” ~ Billy Joel.
There had been some decidedly stressful life events that made seeking out a professional’s help absolutely crucial. As some of you know, I experienced the loss of my entire immediate family, my sister, mother and father, all within 15 months, followed by the adoption of my sister's child after she'd passed away. I had been in the process of working a full-time job and raising my own 5 year old daughter, when my sister's son, my nephew, who was a mere three months younger than my own child, came into our lives. This resulted in the parenting of functional twins while attempting to deal with seemingly insurmountable levels of grief. I began having panic attacks. Who wouldn’t?
If you don't think this sort of thing is enough to prompt a visit to a therapist, give it a try. However, I must warn you, it may stretch your perception of sanity to the brink of its endurance. Gratefully, I haven’t had a panic attack in quite some time, but my therapist likes to check on me every now and again to make sure I’m still a Witch. I think he’d be quite disappointed if he were to learn that I turned in my broom!
All this being said, indulge me a moment while I share a brief description of my psychiatrist...tall, dark and handsome with full pouty lips and a Russian accent. He’s a case for what Sigmund Freud described as “transference” waiting to happen, but I digress.
When I arrived at my appointment, he came out to retrieve me from the waiting room, promptly greeting me with, "how's our favorite Witch" and then, "I think about you at every Solstice!” mmmmmhmmmm…
You see, as with many people who were convinced that they knew me well enough not to expect any Earth-shattering revelations, I sort of blind-sided him during one of our sessions by revealing I was Wiccan. Since then, he’s been completely fascinated!
After a brief assessment to insure that my sanity was status quo, he began asking me about Wicca. He pondered whether a Wiccan and a Witch are one in the same and if not, what the differences were. When asked if I considered myself a Wiccan or a Witch, I replied both, which swiftly prompted him to begin scribbling in my chart. I shared that I’d been interviewed by the Philadelphia News about the whole Christine O’Donnell, “I’m not a Witch” fiasco which led to a discussion of the reasons why Wiccans/Witches were so annoyed by Ms, O’Donnell’s comments. I explained our ongoing struggle to try to differentiate ourselves and our practices from that of Satanism. He impressed me by pointing out that Satan was a Christian construct and very different from that of Wicca. Wicca, from what he knew of it, was a very peaceful, harmonious practice that focused on reverence for the Earth, celebrated the Solstices and followed the cycles of the Seasons and the Moon. I kind of knew already this, but I listened politely as he professionally explained the finer points of Wicca. I was still mentally imagining him at a Beltane festival.
Then he asked, “How do you spell this…Wicca?” as he typed it into his Blackberry. I was both bemused and enchanted as he began reading from Gavin and Yvonne Frost’s “Church and School of Wicca” website. “So why do you think it is that this Wicca is so often confused with Satanism?” he asked. I explained that it had a lot to do with media sensationalism. I then mentioned that, having personally known a few Satanists in my time, not even they actually worshipped Satan. Again with the scribbling?
He then asked a couple of questions that I wasn’t entirely comfortable answering. “Where and how often do you meet as a group and how many people are in your Coven?” Without trying to appear too elusive, I offered simply that we celebrated each Full Moon and that a Coven, in the traditional sense, consisted of thirteen members. He asked if there was some secret way to know another Witch when we met. I told him yes there was, but fell short of adding “but if I told you I’d have to kill you” and instead opted for the more sane, but slightly less truthful answer, “by their pentacle, of course!”
So, fifty-five minutes later I was pronounced sane for another year. On the way out, I mentioned that I was off to finish some masonry work that we were doing on our sunroom. He said, “Well, you are a woman of multiple talents!”
“As long as it’s not multiple personalities…it’s all good!” I replied.
In Darkness, Light!