This turning of the wheel I dedicated to completing Second Degree in The Sojourner Witchcraft Tradition. I was there to witness the first rite of this kind, and also to watch as my friends lives slowly came apart after they left the gate of initiation. For this reason, I just assumed the hard stuff would come after the actual act itself and not before.
At Imbolc in High Priestess Heron’s temple room, filled to the gills with old coven mates and new seekers, we all held the space for each other to make a dedication for what this wheel had in store for them. It’s been oh, 4 years or so since I made my first stuttering dedication at an Imbolc celebration. Every year I carefully write out what I’m gonna say, mostly because stage fright can be a real thing when you feel the eyes of 23 people boring into your back . This year I ignored my notecard and just let the words spew forth. I distinctly recall begging for gentleness from the gods. I’m not at all ignorant of the possibilities that are before me, and that does make me flinch a bit before the blow.
Gentleness is key here because there are aspects of my life I really enjoy and love and dont want to give up. I tend to be the type to clutch onto things with tight fingers, digging in to what Im afraid to lose. One of the recurring themes in this second degree work seems to be ‘alone’. Separateness. By yourself. Well, I worked hard to create and nurture these connections, I don’t particularly feel like just tossing them aside, thank you very much. I’m sure this separation is more important in more traditional covens where the hierarchy is more strict and whatnot. However we do things differently. I haven’t really felt… under or below Heron or Phoenix( High Priest) in a very long time. My pedestal was emptied the morning we camped out for a Beltane and I awoke to the sound of Heron being violently ill outside of her tent at some ungodly hour. Its actually impossible to hold anyone as above you when you come face to face with their undeniable humanness. Not to say that I was forcing her on a pedestal before then, but it was effective as a means to even the playing field.
(I’m sure she’d be delighted that I am spreading this story far and wide, so I’ll be very clear that this was in 2014 and she had a vitamin imbalance that made vomiting like 90% more likely. There is much less awful hangovers and puking nowadays in our festival camp outs.)
Plus our leadership is chosen by a democracy, and leadership cycles out and through, no one has a dictatorship hold on the position. I should know, because if all goes as planned next year at this time I’ll be in the hot seat of High Priestess. Goddess help me, what have I done? The hot spike of panic shoots through me sometimes, which I take to be a good thing. If I was totally confident, that would be a sign I wasn’t ready. A little blinding panic is good for future leadership, right?
So my year looks to be a exciting mismash of occult rock climbing and getting prepped to run the show. Whats yours like this year? Have you climbed the steep path and emerged victorious? Lets chat about it.