Friday, July 1, 2011

Stepping Out of the Broom Closet

With all the things going on in the Pagan world these days, I had decided that I just had to do something.  I see so many people offering to help with prayers or money, but I suddenly feel some kind of greater calling.  For years, I have practiced alone.  Sometimes, I practiced only very rarely.  Sometimes, I had no more than the thoughts in my head to work with.  Those of you who have read my earlier posts know where I come from with all of that.

But now, there's something new in my heart.  There's a need to do more, and be more.  A few weeks ago, I followed a few links and discovered a church where I could be ordained, which would have given me the ability to offer Pagan services that so many of us have to go without.  I thought of how wonderful it would be to perform legal Handfastings and Wiccanings.  To be able to provide something for our community that I would have given so much to have had for my own family.  But, I've spent so long practicing alone that no one really knows me.  I have no paperwork or proof that I have been involved in my faith for so long.  Could I truly expect anyone to welcome me into their life for such momentous occasions, if I had no way to show that I was the "right" person for the job?  No, I needed something more "real."

I have never really hidden my faith from anyone.  I've always been as open with it as I can, without throwing it into everyone's faces.  But, I'm just not very social.  Okay, I've been worse than just not social.  I've been a recluse.  Mild agoraphobia seems to be the best way to put it.  I have been afraid of being in public.  I have been afraid of answering the door.  I've even been afraid of answering the phone.  So, how am I supposed to get out there and do something, if I can't bring myself to get out there at all?  Fortunately, I've been making some serious progress with that little issue over the last few years.

Enter Witch School, stage left.

I confess that I snickered a little bit when I first saw the link.  I mean...Witch School?  Seriously?  You've got to be kidding me.  I clicked on the link just to satisfy my own curiosity, expecting to find a website filled with teens all dressed in black, playing the game without ever really learning the path.  I was wrong.  I was WAY wrong.  It turns out that Witch School is exactly what I think so many of us are looking for.  Online courses, some with Mentors to help you through.  And no rushing through!  Ken and I both joined and started on their First Degree class, and we really will be working on it for a year and a day.  Perfect!  I am beyond impressed, and slightly ashamed of myself for thinking as I did when I first heard of it.  In a few years, if I finish all three degrees, then I will be ready and able to be truly useful to the Pagan community, with a school and paperwork to back me up.

And then, I found CUUPS.  Hmm.  Was I ready to go out and meet some real people?  What if I made an idiot of myself?  What if they didn't like me?  What if *they* turned out to be the teens dressed in black and playing games?  I was wrong about Witch School, so I convinced myself that I should be more open.  We attended our first meeting on Tuesday, and had a fantastic time.  We were neither the youngest or the oldest in the group.  We were neither the least nore the most experienced.  They were warm and welcoming and generally just a blast to be around and talk with.  I've never had the chance to talk to other Pagans in person, or to sit outside with a group and brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas for upcoming events.  It was nothing short of amazing.

In the end, I found another level of myself that I wasn't aware of.  I see, now, that this feeling I've been having is a need to go deeper into the forest, farther along the path, and higher into the skies.  Eventually, I think that ordination will bee my goal.  For now, I will complete the First Degree class and get involved with the real world.  It's time for me to "walk my talk."

And so, my first new lesson is learned.  Never hide from yourself, and never ignore the beating of your heart.

Until we meet again,