Thursday, October 31, 2019

Surviving a Witch's Crisis of Faith


Over two years ago, I took a giant step back from my local community and, a year and a half ago, I left it.  A year and four months ago, I left my coven.  Nine months ago, I stopped blogging and, six months ago, I stepped away from Witchy Words altogether.  While each step occurred independently of the next, they were all born of a crisis of faith.

Perhaps "crisis of faith" isn't the right term for what I experienced.  After all, what I do is witchcraft, which is a practice for me, not a religion.  But the phrase certainly conveys the weight with which I experienced my disillusionment.

You might be surprised to hear that having a crisis of faith, even as a witch or pagan, is common - normal, even.  We're all humans having a human experience, living without all of the answers.  Inevitably, if we're curious and cautious enough, we find ourselves questioning our own beliefs.  Whether you were thrown into your crisis of faith thanks to trauma, such as the death of a loved one or abuse, or if you've come to it on your own, nearly everyone experiences at least one crisis of faith in their lifetime - whether they'd like to admit it or not. But what do you do when the foundation of your beliefs becomes unstable beneath your feet?  In this article - my first back from my hiatus thanks to this very reason - we'll explore three common crises of faith as they relate to witchcraft and ways to cope if you're in the middle of one right now.


Witchcraft and Skepticism

For some witches, their crisis of faith may involve skepticism in the practice.  It's surprisingly common to wonder if your work is actually paying off, especially if you don't see the benefits immediately.  When it comes to skepticism, I've always believed that an ounce of it throughout your practice is healthy.  Skepticism keeps us on our toes, encouraging us to think outside of the box by exploring new options, all while keeping a level head.  Blind faith in your Craft is rarely productive.  Being moderately critical of your work will create growth.  Bottom line?  It's okay to wonder if your spells are real or if it's just in your head.  It's absolutely normal.  As long as it doesn't eliminate your enjoyment of the practice, you're on the right track.  And if it does?  That's okay, too.  That just means that it could be time to explore other options!  Consider the myriad of practices under the pagan and witchcraft umbrellas, or perhaps read up on another non-Abrahamic faith.  You'll never know what you learn!


Witchcraft versus Christianity

Other witches may struggle to come to terms with their previous Christian faith and their practice.  This is especially common if you're just making the transition or if you're beginning to incorporate elements of witchcraft into your standing religion.  After all, doesn't the Bible say "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live?"  The Exodus 22:18 passage is frequently quoted as a reason why the two religions cannot mix, though there are questions as to what exactly "witch" references.  The King James Version uses the word pharmakeia, a Greek word for someone who uses drugs or medicines.  It's possible the correct translation would be poisoner rather than witch.  And the Hebrew manuscript?  It uses the word m’khashepah, meaning “murderer” or “a woman who uses spoken spells to harm others.”  The technical translation for the word witch as we understand it would be chasapah, and clearly, that’s not what was used.  Obviously, this passage is up for interpretation.

Another such passage that some struggle with is Deuteronomy 18:10-11: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”  Okay, so this one might be a little harder to reconcile.  To be fair though, the Old Testament also includes the Levitical Law, which forbids mixed fabrics and the eating of shellfish - things we all do many of us do, even Christians (Of course many Jewish people still follow Levitical Law and absolutely do not mix fabrics or eat shellfish.  My apologies for overly focusing on Christianity in this section and thank you to reader Samantha for point this out.).  And you know why Levitical Law exists?  Let’s clarify that the Levites were decedents of Levi, son of Jacob, and included Moses.  When Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, the Levites became religious leaders in the eyes of God.  This may be why they’re so restrictive.

In a non-religious view, these laws could have circumstantially been created to separate the Levites from other tribes. Religiously, these laws might only apply to the Levites, or those Levitical Laws might have been lessened with the New Testament for Christians.  Hebrews 7:18-19 says that those laws were “weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect).”  And thus they were set aside.

This, among many other more personal reasons, is why Christo-pagans, Christo-witches, and Christo-Wiccans exist - and thrive!  And still yet, you may find that witchcraft and Christianity still simply cannot mix for you.  If that's the case, it's up to you to pick your path, depending on what you ultimately come to believe.

Still others, like myself, face an entirely different kind of crisis of faith.


Witchcraft and Abuse

Witchcraft attracts the downtrodden, the abused, the disenfranchised.  It's a means of obtaining control over your life.  Unfortunately, it's also a smorgasbord of ripe pickings for the abuser.  If the occultist is looking to gain control of their own life, it seems it becomes a thin line to wanting to gain control of another's.  And it doesn't take magic for that.  The new practitioner, looking for guidance, comes to the leaders in hopes of finding that control and, like a moth to the flame, they're enveloped - if the flame were, you know, actively hunting.  Problematic practitioners today are merely the tip of the iceberg.  The truth is that the abusive behavior we see in some leaders today was a pathway paved by those who came before us.  Many have long known issues with a variety of historical leaders, writers, and practitioners within occultism, from Crowley to Gardner, Dion Fortune to the Frosts.

Spurred by my own experiences in my community and Sarah Anne Lawless's article on a history of abuse within the development of what we see as modern paganism and witchcraft, I did my own research.  Countless articles, essays, books, and notes later and I felt absolutely drained.  As much as we want to believe that the witchcraft we practice today is owed to the "old ways," most modern occultists are aware that the Craft has been heavily shaped within the early 20th century.  The time period alone, along with the variety of abusive practitioners that molded it, create a myriad of problems.  The very practice I loved, that I had wholly accepted into my life, which had its fingers in my heart and home, had, at best, misguided and, and worst, abusive, origins.  In a world where we stop listening to abusive musicians and boycott stores that throw money at the wrong causes, how, I wondered, could I possibly reconcile this?  How could I continue to practice knowing full well the history in all its gritty realness?

I was caught between "cancel culture" and accountability.

Again, it's not like I didn't know before.  It's just that we seemed to give it a pass.  Yeah, Crowley was a shit human being, but he had good ideas.  Sure, the Frosts promoted the sexual abuse of children, but if you ignore that, right? Suddenly, I just couldn't give it a pass anymore.  I couldn't simply critically read a text.  I was ready to throw the book out.

And so I did.

I left Witchy Words at the height of my crisis of faith.  I had become completely disillusioned with witchcraft in its entirety and I no longer wanted a part of something that had created so much toxicity, not just within my own life, but within the greater picture.


Thirteen Ways to Manage a Witch's Crisis of Faith

If you've actively searched out this article, it's likely you're experiencing some crisis of faith as we speak.  I sympathize.  I, too, experienced a massive crisis of faith as outlined above.  During my six month hiatus, here are ways I coped:

1. Recognize that this will be difficult. 
It's not called a crisis for no reason.  Crises of faith are grueling, tough experiences with no easy way out.  There's no around or over - only through.  And no one has the answer but you.  Not me, not some Big Name Pagan writer, not your previous religion's priest, and not your current high priestess.  While they might all be able to help you, it's ultimately going to come down to you and your own decisions.  If you're going to come through the other side of a crisis of faith, you'll need to get comfortable with the discomfort of having one.  It's part of the process.

2. Know that you're not alone.
Paganism and witchcraft are poorly equipped for crises of faith.  In many religions, we have trusted leaders we can talk to during our times of doubt.  Many of the leaders we might come to respect or the Big Name Pagans we grow to love may dismiss your crisis of faith - a disgusting and inappropriate reaction to a very real issue.  Your experience as a witch is not invalidated by your crisis of faith.  In addition, witchcraft places an emphasis on the self as a leader.  You're your own personal priestx.  We're expected, as witches, to be confident in our personal power 24/7.  The fact is that this isn't realistic, and it forces members of the community, leaders included, to put on a facade.  It may be hard for others to admit that they've had a crisis of faith before, or that they're even currently having one too.  The reality is that everyone goes through a crisis of faith at some point. Hell, it's likely most of the witches you know had one involving their previous religion - as, most likely, did you.  If nothing else, hold on to the fact that you survived that one as you move forward.

Here are some other pagans and witches who have written about their crisis of faith:
You. Are. Not. Alone

3. You have not made and are not currently making a mistake.  You're on the right path.
"Oh no, what have I done?"  The desire to take back however many years you invested in your craft might be particularly strong right now.  It's common to feel like maybe you made a mistake - but you didn't.  As I've said before, we're humans having a human experience.  Every path we take teaches us a lesson we need to learn, including your path as a witch and, yes, even your current crisis of faith.  Whatever is happening right now is a stepping stone to the next path.  It's not a mistake, and it never was.

4. Ignore the label
It's easy to feel like we're stuck when a label we've chosen becomes a part of our identity, especially if you've identified as a witch for a number of years.  Don't worry about whether or not you're "still a witch."  During a crisis of faith, it's imperative that you ignore the label. You're still you, witch or not, so shake it off and set it aside.  You don't have to disown it; in other words, you don't have to not be a witch.  It's just not something you need to worry about right now. Give yourself the freedom of simply being you.

5. It's okay to take a break.
Do not force yourself to keep practicing.  When it comes to a crisis of faith, "fake it till you make it" is a terrible philosophy.  You'll only burn out in the process and become more distanced from your practice.  Besides, maintaining a constant practice isn't essential to being a witch.  There are many witches out there not experiencing a crisis of faith who don't celebrate the Wheel of the Year, don't have the energy to do spells, or forget the full moons - and they're valid witches. You are no less valid for not practicing.  Recognizing you need a break is not a weakness - it's a strength.  So give yourself time, whether that's a week, a month, a year, or more.  Things like this cannot be rushed.

Personal Example: I left the blog for six months and, even prior, had not been doing much in terms of witchcraft since leaving my coven.


6. Allow yourself to dabble.
If you've decided to take a break or step away from witchcraft, don't force yourself to totally abandon it if you don't want to.  Read cards, do a spell, listen to witchy music, read a witchcraft book.  Just because you're on a break doesn't mean you can't practice at all.  It just means that you practice when you feel the inspiration, that there's absolutely no pressure to do anything at a specific time or with any kind of consistency.

Personal Example: I love witchcraft books. I continued to purchase new ones and read them during my downtime.

7. Hold on to your experiences. These are your truths.
Sit down and make a list of every experience you've had that is undoubtedly owed to witchcraft.  Every spark of inspiration, every ritual, every spell that worked.  It doesn't even have to be single instances.  It could be an overall practice.  Whatever it is, write it down.  During the most overwhelming moments of your crisis of faith, refer back to this list.  Even if you decide not to stick with witchcraft, knowing that what you experienced was very real can help you find some footing.

Personal Example: I have five pets: Three cats, a dog, and a parrot.  Four of those are familiars.  While I love my parrot to pieces, she is by no means a familiar.  There's a clear difference between them that even my Christian husband clearly sees, and my experiences with them, from pacting to rituals, cannot be denied. 

8. Refocus on yourself.
It's easy to get caught up in the Pinteresty witchcraft aesthetic or the complicated ceremonial rituals.  Stop. Breathe. Think about what you like.  It doesn't have to be what you think others like or what others have said witchcraft is.  Do what you enjoy.  Stop worrying about whether it's "right" or if it "looks good" and just go for it.  Get creative!  Sing, dance, journal, and paint witchy things, even if you're not very good at it.  Do whatever your soul craves, without any thought to whether it's "good enough."

Personal Example:
Doing readings for myself in my PJs in the corner of a room on the floor rather than on some nice cloth with the right lighting.

9. Go back to the basics - of what you already do or something new!
Even if you've only been practicing for a few months, go back to where you very first began.  Look back over your initial notes or read the very first book you touched on witchcraft - even if it's terrible.  Sometimes it helps to reexperience that spark that led us to the Craft in the first place - to remember the rush, the emotions, the otherworldliness of it.  Alternatively, try the basics of something you've never done before.  Witchcraft is such a wide umbrella encompassing many, many, many different practices.  Whether you reexperience your entrance into witchcraft or try something you've never done before, you experience that newness that can help maintain interest and spark a new flame within!

Personal Example: I was called to a tarot deck for the first time ever.  After 15 years, I'd still never really had much interest in tarot.  During my crisis of faith, I dove in head-first and enjoyed it! 

10. Speak with a trusted confidant.
While the emphasis in a crisis of faith might be someone of higher status or more experience, even just a friend or relative can help.  Talking it out gets it off your chest, releasing the inevitable stress that a crisis of faith brings.  Your friend or relative may not be able to change anything but, by offering an ear, they're helping you sort your own feelings out in the process.  And that's huge!  Because what is a crisis of faith if not a moment of extreme processing?

Personal Example: My husband was a huge part of my support and recovery during my crisis of faith.


11. Seek out therapy.
Paganism and witchcraft attract the downtrodden, offering them a way to gain control over their life - this is true.  Unfortunately, this often gets confused with psychiatry and psychology.  Witchcraft tends to incorporate elements of pop-psychology, especially when looking at Carl Jung's Shadow Work (which I'll be going over in a series).  But pop-psychology and the kind of shadow work you might employ in witchcraft is very different from talking with a licensed therapist.  Witchcraft, while it can offer a sort of spiritual healing, is not a substitute for therapy.  If you find your crisis of faith is particularly overwhelming, especially if it's developed from a recent trauma, I strongly suggest reaching out to a professional.

Personal Example: Yep, I went to therapy.  I actually started therapy shortly before leaving my coven last year, but I continued therapy throughout my crisis of faith, discussing it at length.

12. Be accepting of the unknown.
Know that, whether you switch belief systems or not, you may not ever have "all the answers."  This doesn't mean that you have to blindly dive back into witchcraft or cut off the practice entirely and just accept your crisis of faith.  It does, however, mean that, even when you come out on the other side of this period, you may still not be able to answer the question that led you here.  Much like accepting an apology you never received or coming to terms with never knowing someone else's motives for their actions, you'll simply have to accept the unknown to move forward - whatever that forward movement may be.

13. Allow this crisis of faith to change you.
When we experience a crisis of faith, we cannot return to what was before.  In the same way you can't unknow something once you know it, your perception of your practice will shift. Even if you come back to witchcraft, it will be different than before - and that's okay.  This is an evolution of your path, of your human experience.  You're growing.  Allow yourself to grow.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Two years ago, I unknowingly entered a tunnel.  By the time I realized where I was, it was pitch black inside, I lost all sense of direction, and I felt like I was suffocating.  There were days I curled up in a ball on the cold, damp floor and cried - days I simply sat in my crisis.  Society urges us to constantly make progress, to always be moving forward.  It's that capitalist success we're taught to crave.  But it's also okay to just feel whatever it is you're feeling.  Ignoring it will only make it worse. And, after six months of clamoring for the cold walls and feeling my way forward - after six months of intensely feeling my crisis of faith - I finally started to see a dim glow.  As I write this, I feel like I'm emerging from the other side, shielding my eyes from the bright light.  I'm dirty, bruised, covered in scrapes, blood, mud, and tears, but I'm here, in the light of day, standing tall.  I made it through.

In the end, what truly matters to your practice or religion is whether it enriches your personal life.  Is it real? Does the church agree with it?  Does it come from an abusive creator?  I don't think any of those things are as important to a spiritual practice as enjoying it.  Witchcraft, much like other religions and practices, is up to your own personal interpretations.  It may require us to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and do the hard work, but it should also be exciting and fun - something you look forward to rather than dread.

When it comes to my specific crisis of faith, even after I returned to witchcraft, I struggled immensely with its creation, with the pathways that lead to abusive practices today.  Why, if I wouldn't support Chick-Fil-A or Walmart, would I continue to practice witchcraft knowing full-well its formation and flaws?

But here's the thing: I don't support any of that.  From dropping k from "magick" to symbolize a departure from Crowley's teachings to my outright fight against racism and transphobia in my local community, it's clear that the pieces of witchcraft that are problematic are not a part of my personal practice.  I don't support Crowley, Gardner, Fortune or the Frosts, or the myriad of other unnamed occultists and practitioners that included abusive, toxic elements in their work, and I avoid taking pieces from their practices when possible.  Witchcraft and Neopaganism, as a whole, have a variety of problems - but I refuse to participate in any of them.  What I'm left with is a practice that resonates with me.  I can't change its origins nor the toxic elements of today, but I am at least aware.  And as long as my personal practice isn't abusive or phobic, that has to be enough.

Long-time readers of Witchy Words will know that I'm not a huge believer in "fate" or "destiny."  I don't feel like the direction we travel is inevitable. That being said, I do think forks in the road are put there for a reason.  It's less about the direction we choose and more about how we examine ourselves in the process - how we evolve from our experiences.  We're given choices so that we can grow.  A crisis of faith, if nothing else, requires us to do just that.


30 comments:

  1. Absolutely excellent post; so good to have you back! I am also in the midst of a crisis of faith (as so many are) and your words are helpful and soothing. I look forward to trying to incorporate some tips to make my current state of being a bit better. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Krawford! I'm so sorry to hear that you're also in the middle of a crisis of faith. Hopefully some of the tips above will be helpful to you. Best of luck to you!

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  2. So great to have you and your tribe of fur babies back . I went thru a crisis of faith for a few years all i did in that time was make salves and tinctures but it was enough for me . I was never any less "witchy" . Without the dark you can't see the stars . Missed you guys :)

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    1. Thank you so much! It sounds like salves and tinctures were exactly what you needed to make it through. I think I've done pretty much nothing but tarot. I latched on hard when I found a tarot deck that called to me for the first time. And I absolutely agree! Life is all about balance, and sometimes that means going to one extreme to balance the other. Glad to be back!

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  3. I have been in similar states myself with witchcraft. I fell out of practice for a long time and when I stepped back into it, I was older and wiser and found out horrible things that were happening, have happened or were created by shit-humans in the name of witchcraft. I had to take a long hard look at the labels I would allow myself to carry as well as be more diligent about the resources I used. I'm glad you are back and I look forward to your posts even more so now!

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    1. Thank you so much! It's tough, having a critical eye for resources. I've talked about it repeatedly on the blog and have always had one myself, but for a while, a critical eye just wasn't enough. I wanted nothing to do with any of it. It's hard to avoid when some of the most abusive figures in witchcraft are so ingrained into our practice. I mean, go to any public ritual and you're going to see some heavy Gardenarian influences. Or look at even the best of modern books - you'll see Crowley's influences almost immediately.
      It's impossible to get away from entirely. It was suffocating. I still don't have all the answers on how to come to terms with all of this, but I'm okay with that. I just know that witchcraft still resonates for me more than any other practice or religion. I'll figure the rest out as I go!

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  4. Great post! I, myself, had also been going through this "crisis" for the past few months after 24 years of practice. It is a slow, difficult process to come to terms with and work through and I have NEVER been big on "labels"! I am ME and I have many differences in personal beliefs that do not shall we say fit the status quo of witchcraft - and most especially the modern "Wicca." I practice what feels comfortable and right to me. Thank you for this article! Blessings to you and yours, Lady Caer Morganna

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    1. Thank you! Labels have always been pretty iffy for me. Back when I didn't know better, I identified as Wiccan, but the binary god and goddess infused in Wicca never felt right to me as someone is nontheistic, ace, and supportive of LGBTQ+. I'll take certain labels if it helps me connect to the right people but that's all I see labels as good for. Like you, I'm just me, doing my thing - whatever that happens to be at the time. Best wishes to you!

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  5. Welcome back! I feel like we all go through this phase, especially with the use of social media. I pretty much steer clear of Tumblr now because of how toxic it can get and have left several witch forums on Facebook and on other social media sites because none of that brings me joy or anyone else joy. I'm looking forward to seeing the "new" you. :)

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    1. Surprisingly, social media itself wasn't a huge influence on my own crisis of faith. Some of it was communal - losing my coven, walking away from my city's community - but I realized it all stemmed from something more that bothered me on a personal level. Once I uncovered it, it took off like wildfire. Taking a step back was incredibly helpful in finding my footing.

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  6. Welcome back! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. As you said, it's important to know that you aren't alone, and I really believe that your article will help those in similar situations. I look forward to reading more content in the near future!

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    1. Thank you so much, Adrienne! I think crises of faith, especially when it comes to the witchcraft and pagan umbrellas, are so rarely talked about because we have this perception that it invalidates our personal power. If you're in the middle of a crisis of faith, it can be so smothering to read or hear others say that you're somehow not taking responsibility for yourself or you're wavering in your own power - that it somehow makes you less of a witch. I don't believe that. I hope you're right - I hope anyone dealing with a crisis of faith can at least find some comfort in seeing that they're not alone.

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  7. I'm so glad you and the fur family are back!
    I have to admit, I've never really had a crisis of faith myself. My path has been strictly solitary and mostly intuitive, so I've relied on myself, not others, for my path. A couple of time I've done spells that didn't seem to work, but later I realised they just didn't work in ways I expected, or it was a lesson I needed to learn.
    Looking forward to what you have in store!

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    1. I don't think it's "relying on others" for your path that creates a crisis of faith. It's very similar to saying that, if a witch is confident enough in their own craft, they'll never have a crisis of faith. The reality is that, whether you're solitary or not, whether you're intuitive or not, crises of faiths do happen. I'm certainly glad you've never had one, but I don't want any readers to feel invalidated if they are. :)

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  8. So glad you are back to doing this. I know you have been finding your path again and I can't wait to hear all about it.

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    1. Thank you so much! <3 And thank you for standing with me as I dug through this whole crisis of faith thing. I definitely appreciated your support then, and I appreciate it now.

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  9. Glad you are back and excited to be back. I am proud to see you move forward.

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  10. I'm glad you're back but more so I'm glad you've worked your way through. I hated watching you suffer through disillusionment and the need to excise entire parts of your life. I hope you continue to heal well and having returned to this blog that your readers can be an additional source of support. I have always enjoyed this blog for how real you have been with us. You have my sincerest well wishes and I'll continue to send positive energy your way.

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    1. Thank you so much! It hasn't been easy, I can't lie. More parts of my life were ditched during my time away but it's been essential in the process of healing. I definitely appreciate your, and everyone else's, support throughout this. Thank you for sticking around during my hiatus! Best wishes to you!

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  11. Glad you are back! I did a lot of shadow work on myself so went through my own crisis. Hecate tends to do that if you work with her!

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    1. Thank you! I've heard Hecate puts you through some dark and trying trials at times. It would make sense since she's one possible identity for the Witch Queen (opposite the Witch's Devil/Man in Black who often makes you give up everything in exchange for the pact).

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  12. Huge thank you for this post. I read it and shared it with my partner who also needed to see these words. We have been going through one hell of a time trying to figure out what is medically going on with them. And after everything, it feels like one trial after another. And plenty of thoughts of "what did I do to deserve this?"

    It's been hard for both of us to not doubt and lately I have been feeling crushed with a seeping depression trying to carry them through this. And I worry that I am not as true to the faith because of my doubts. It's been a struggle off and on ever since christianity was broken from me. Plenty of is this real or wishful thinking. I don't deny what I felt though. I just need to allow myself to heal and remember the universe works in mysterious ways. I am not giving up. I am just waiting for this storm to pass.

    Thank you for taking the time with this post and allowing me to see it when I needed it most.

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    1. Thank you so much, Aleks. Times of medical questioning or medical crisis can be traumatic and cause us to re-examine or question our own beliefs in the process. It's absolutely understandable. Having doubt during these times is common and in no way lessens your practice or your dedication if you don't want it to do so. There's nothing wrong with waiting it out - in fact, I think that's a great plan. Sometimes, just recognizing what we feel and sitting with it while work through what we're going through is our best option. I hope everything turns out the best for you and your partner.

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  13. Welcome back Marietta!

    While my crisis of faith happened as a teen and another (much smaller) one several years ago, I still do very much understand where you're coming from. I've had to leave my pagan community due to toxic leaders, and I've lost pagan friends due to them. Looking down that dark cliff edge and being unsure how far the drop is (or what's there) is scary.

    I know it's a process and it's an ever changing and evolving one, so let me tell you: You're doing great. <3

    I'm sorry you've had to go through such horrible circumstances, but I'm so glad you were able to find your way to a place that feels (mostly) right for you. I always enjoy your posts and I so so SO appreciate that you put yourself out here so wholeheartedly and with such grace and openness.

    I look forward to reading your new posts. And if you ever need an open minded witchy friend to chat to about any ol' thing, I'm here (well...er...'here')!

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    1. Thank you so much, Katie! Your kind words are deeply appreciated. I'm so sorry that you've been in a similar position before. It seems that toxic communities are extremely common. I still don't know exactly where the past few years are taking me but I'm at least on firmer ground now. I'll certainly take it!

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    2. It does seem like that, doesn't it? I've met/interacted with several small communities and they seem to be less drama (or power hungry) filled. When you have a massive group it sort of becomes like a "too many chefs in the kitchen" effect, I feel. Lots of people that suddenly want to feel important and seen (but what human doesn't?), but that gets tricky when suddenly there's 200 of you....

      Anyway! I have a feeling the next few years are going to take you on a really fun adventure and I'll be cheering you on!

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  14. Hey just as a heads up, there are Jews who still religiously follow the Laws of Leviticus, and that is a major part of their Holy Book also called the bible. You did really well in mentioning it was Christianity's interpretation, however not everyone wears mixed fabrics, or milk and meat, or shellfish, especially Jewish people who eat and keep Kosher.

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    1. Hi Samantha! You're absolutely right. I did overly focus on Christianity and that is my bad. I will make a quick addendum to fix that. Thank you for pointing this out!

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  15. I can relate. I terribly miss the Circles I attended in the Bay Area and the womens spirituality Festival I attended yearly in the Redwoods. Circling with other women really confirmed and hrlped me groe...especially around Samhain and the Solstices and Equinoxes.

    Now, I am in rural Nebraska where I feel completely isolated and completely Solitary. I always was Solitary eith a vombination of open Circles and a yearly Goddess Festival to connect with other Witches.

    There is a small poorly organized pagan community, but pretty much we only get together for Pagan Pride. Otherwise its strictly an online group, but nothing organized at all.

    So its sent me too into a crisis of Faith. I will always be connected to Goddess even if surrounded by a sea of Christians. But I rarely do formal Ritual anymore. However I do honor the Seasons in my mind...and bathe my crystals and stand out in the Full Moon. I feel the Energy of the Moon, the Sun, the Seasons, but cannot seem to get myself alone, to sit down and do a formal ritual....like I always used to.

    Sometimes I Call out to the worldwide Lunar Sisterhood on the Full Moon, but the isolation on the physical level is REALLY getting to me.

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