It has been over one year since my last post and I find myself in a state of reflection. 2017 was a time of great transition: uprooting myself and moving twice; serving as a ritualist for a Reclaiming witchcamp; beginning an apprenticeship with a seasoned astrologer; adopting a kitten and shifting my daily life to embrace deep levels of intimacy with another person. Sure blog posts could have been written that narrated this journey of new magic in the mundane (and trust me, it was there) but these were things that I felt oddly compelled to keep to myself. I chose not to over analyze my experiences, remaining as present as possible as everything unfolded.
However there is something calling to be shared about where I have been, where I am now and what is coming to be. The story that connects the ends of that bridge happened last summer during a festival where I was offering tarot services to the public.
Doing this outside of pagan circles is always interesting as society tends to associate this work with fantasy movies and phonies declaring when your doorbell will ring next. Most people came and went, likely more excited about the fire juggler nearby, except for two visitors passing through whose eyes I caught.
It was an aunt and her niece who was about seven years old. When they slowly made their way over to my table, I assumed that it was the older woman who was interested in some advice to pair with the drink in her hand. I was stunned to watch her bend down to the girl and ask, “do you want to talk to her about your dad?” As the three of us chatted I was told that recently her father had passed on and a tarot-witch might be someone who she could talk to about death. The young one, seemingly unfazed by her question, plopped herself in the seat across from me. The aunt promised she would be nearby (allowing for some privacy) and told us that we should let her know when the reading was finished.
Normally, I do not perform readings for anyone under the age of 18. However, my agreement with the event organizer was to spend just ten minutes with each individual that was interested and willing to donate some funds, plus I had the consent of her caretaker. So I handed the deck over to be mixed and prepared to do some deep listening. When it finally came time to ask the tarot-witch a question, I found myself delightfully surprised:
“Are fairies real?”
This charmed me for two very specific reasons. First, I had just returned from co-facilitating SpiralHeart‘s annual witchcamp where we Worked the Ballad of Tam Lin: a myth of love between human and fae (so I certainly had some opinions.) Second, this kid chose not to do what her aunt had suggested. She did what made most sense to her: she asked the witch about magic.
We both decided that we knew fairies were real, but that finding them could be tricky. So we consulted the deck about where and how they could be found. The Empress arose and we learned that being creative was a signal for them to join her. The Nine of Cups revealed to us that making wishes was a good idea. We pulled another and she just kept smiling: likely satisfied that a grown up confirmed something she Knew to be true. She politely said thank you before she walked off with her aunt and I was left alone with a feeling of pure love swelling in my heart.
As months have passed and I witness the world today, I have been wondering how our interaction will serve that girl in the future (or if she will remember it at all.) We are living in a time of national trauma. The news cycle reminds us daily of how our leaders are betraying us. Kids are murdering each other in the hallways with military-grade guns. Storms due to climate change are devastating entire communities. Healthcare is denied to those in poverty and we are regularly taunted by the threat of nuclear war. Hopelessness has become a disease that seems to be swallowing the vitality of so many people.
What about the next generation? What do they have to work towards and dream into being? How will they relate to or use magic? Will they be able to find it amidst everything else demanding their attention?
I recently read that witchcraft was originally gifted to the poor from the Gods as a way for them to fight back against the oppression of unjust rulers. This idea has me thinking back to spells I have done, difficult conversations I have had and choices I have made among friends that have empowered me and created change in my surrounding community. I would not have these memories if it was not for what I have read about witchcraft, the lessons of priestesses, refining my magical skills and connecting with those who are willing to stand up for what they believe in. I am grateful every day that I found the witches’ road. I know that it is my responsibility to give back to those who are doing their best to find the same path towards right-sized pride and power-from-within.
This is the year I break out of my comfort zone. This is the year that I initiate alliances and create opportunities for others to learn. This is the year that I say yes and take action. This is the year that the gifts that have been given to me must move; because there is a generation on the rise that desperately needs guidance and support. Faeries, magic and immanence need to be acknowledged by humans so that our Work together may be strengthened.
Brave leadership is required or else those being told they “have no power” and “resisting does not matter” will actually begin to believe those lies.
I am scheduling events online and in-person this year with other witches from around the world: offering them to everyone who is willing to do the Work. I am also nurturing a local community of Reclaiming witches in Pittsburgh, PA with other priestesses so that our city will be resilient amidst conflict, empowered to speak up, willing to demand better and welcoming to all.
Stay tuned and take action, because now may be your time too.