One afternoon, Pace said, “Kyeli, I think we need to share more of our spirituality with the public.”
I flipped out.
I used to be a very private, guarded person. I used LiveJournal because it allowed me to lock my entries. I could make dozens of groups and control who saw what.
And then I became an entrepreneur. At first, I was in a line of business where being a freak was okay, but not awesome. I had to watch what I said and where I said it. I changed my profiles to be less openly freaky.
Then we sold that business and started doing our own thing. And our target audience? Freaky people. I realized that I’ve never been particularly good at hiding my freak. I have a friend who, every time I angst and come out as something new, looks at me and says, “Yeah, I know. What’s new?” I got my wrist tattooed, which is essentially the “professional job” (and most retail jobs) kiss of death, and I dye my hair blue on a regular basis.
I’ve gotten good at being vulnerable in public. I’ve talked about my miscarriage. I’ve talked about becoming an Edgewalker and leaving an abusive relationship. I’ve even talked about extreme abuse and changing my memories.
But when I talk about being a Witch, I tend to go fast and ramble and not really open up. I tense up and get shaky when I’m asked about it. I worry that others won’t get me. In no other area of my life am I as vulnerable to attack as in my spirituality. In fact, when Tracy made an innocent and sweet post about us, I got triggered and was upset for days.
That’s the spark of this post, too. Why, if I’m so confident in my spirituality, if I know so well what it means to me, am I so vulnerable? Why does the slightest hint of a breeze of negativity in my general direction send me reeling?
I don’t know, but I’m not going to let it stop me.
The rest of the story.
When I was a little girl, I went to southern baptist churches. There, the preachers always yelled at us from their pulpits. We had full-submersion baptizing. There was bible-thumping and singing. And I hated it.
I would sit in the pew beside my grandmother and read the little comic strips in my kids’ bible, keeping my head down and my mouth shut.
As I got older, I got kicked out of various Sunday schools for asking too many questions or inciting riot (only did that once). I have a clear memory of sitting in a Sunday school class, surrounded by kids I barely knew from school, and feeling like the odd-one-out. I read what I was told to read and sang what I was told to sing and listened when I was told to listen, but I didn’t like any of it.
The thing that struck me the most was, this Guy was supposed to be like a father. The ultimate father, in fact. But if my dad did those things to me, I’d hate him.
I wanted a mother instead of a father. I wanted nourishment instead of punishment. I wanted praise instead of damnation.
I wanted love instead of fear.
And I sat in those classes and those sermons and silently wept inside, wishing there was a better way.
I had no idea there was, for a very long time.
Then my parents got divorced. My mom went woo-woo, all of the sudden. She started seeing a tarotist (tarot card reader? tarot specialist?). For my 13th birthday, she gave me a reading with him. He stared at me for a long time before reading my cards – stared through my masks deep into my core. He said I was brighter than most people. I thought he meant smarts, but he meant magickally. He read my cards, which were intimidatingly full of power and knowledge and potential, and then instructed my mom to get me my own deck – immediately. She did, and the door was opened. That trip to the little pagan store was the most enlightening, interesting, and eye-opening experience I’d ever had.
I started experimenting. As is fairly natural, I swung to the darker stuff first, in rebellion against what I had been stuck in for so long. I tried dark magick (with little results) and vodou (with disastrous and terrifying results) and various other things, but nothing resonated. I felt lost and afraid and sad.
Then came the vision.
A quiet, tall, red-headed woman who shimmered, there-but-not-there, standing before me, holding out her hand and when I took it, I could only see her and the world around us faded, and she pulled me into her arms and whispered her name into my heart, bypassing my ears and my brain, and Gaia all around me, in and out and above and below, near and far and within, everywhere all at once, and she sang my song, my heartsong that only I knew but she knew it, and she called me daughter and I knew she was the mother I so longed to have, here in my heart and in my life and all around me.
And I was found.
I have occasionally veered from this path, doubt has filled me and I’ve felt alone, and I’ve struggled and I’ve cried. In those times, eventually, this shimmery red-haired goddess comes to me and holds me and fills me back up, and reminds me that I’m hers and she’s mine and we’re really one and the same.
And I think it’s this that keeps me quiet about my spirituality. I don’t want to seem egotistical (I’m not). I don’t want to speak my truth, because my truth frightens me. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t want to admit that the scientific paradigm, the control paradigm, hasn’t gripped me so tightly, because then I won’t blend in – and despite everything, sometimes I really want to blend in.
But my truth is loud. My truth is shimmering and shining. And I’m awfully tired of dimming it down out of fear.
My truth is one of power, strength, magick, of being chosen. My truth is of being a teacher, a leader. I am these things, they are me. I talk to faeries. I have Unicorn and Dragon as guides. My goddess found me and saved me, and we interact with each other. I am magickal. I am powerful.
I am a bright, shining star.
But here’s another truth: so are you.
Bigger still: so are we all.
We are each special. We are each magickal. There is uniqueness in each and every one of us. We are each a spark in someone’s eye, chosen by someone, we are each and every one of us strong and powerful and magickal.
My journey has led me here; where has yours led?