My Tarot cards followed me here.
After an exhausting reading gig at the Rainbow Room, I resolved to take two weeks off from doing readings. That’s not a hard break to take in the South, where people are generally as frightened of oracles as they are fascinated by them. But yet, somehow my Waite-Smith deck ended up in my suitcase, as much as I swear I left them behind on purpose. This must mean that someone is going to ask for a reading. I hope they don’t. I very much need a break.
Witchcraft works similar muscles as painting, writing or other forms of creation—except with the Spirit even more firmly lodged behind it. And sometimes, you run out of steam, particularly when you’re not actively seeking to replace the energy you expended. My adviser told me this was what I did at Yule—because I’m still such a control freak (my words, not hers…) and it’s very difficult for me to delegate energetic tasks to other members. Not because I don’t want to. But because I usually forget to. I’m used to having others look to me, but this is the first group where people are chomping at the bit to get to use their new-found powers. My Priest was worried. “We don’t want people to make mistakes,” he said. “But mistakes are inevitable,” I said. “We need to make sure no one is making a DANGEROUS mistake.”
At Samhain, I made a tiny coffin and after we made offerings to the ancestors, we encouraged attendees to write down things they were ready to put to rest and put it in the coffin. Later, I would take the coffin to the Cloisters and bury it under a Cedar tree we’ve discovered (as many have…) that has special spiritual powers. However, I drove the point home that no one was to write down a person’s name or the name of an organization.
“Don’t say that!” said one of my long-time Group members. “Don’t even put that idea into their heads!”
I had to, I explained. The danger was less about people coming up with ideas of harming others, but unintentionally doing so. Many Wiccans are heavily exposed to the Llewellyn, mass-marketed concept of “It’s all about the intention.” But I’ve discovered the Universe has a different set of ears and hears things, just as people do, but not always as we intend. Sure, someone may write the name of an Ex on a piece of paper to bury in the coffin—intending it to be the dissolution of the relationship with that person. But the Universe would simply see the person’s name in a coffin and think it was time to take them to the other side. Not in my house. Not on my watch.
This entry turned out to be nothing as I originally thought it would be.
I meant to talk about going down to the river below my grandmother’s house and getting back in touch with my birth soil. I was looking forward to the red clay, but the stretch of land I was on was brown, sprinkled with beautiful quartz shards. I rubbed my hands in it, smeared my spit into it, inhaled its sweet smell. No garbage. No fear of needles. Fresh earth and I was happy to see it. But I didn’t stay long because I was so isolated. Even in matters of witchcraft, safety comes first. Don’t go hiding in the woods and get so enraptured by the Goddess’s beauty that you don’t hear Her telling you to get the fuck out of there because creepy-ass people are lurking about. Sometimes I can’t tell my own intuition from the forced-intuition I’ve developed in
So, I said hi to the land, and ran back along the path barefoot to the opening of the park. When I got back, I didn’t tell my grandmother where I’d been—but she knew. And she told me never to go back there again. “I went down there once…and saw something. And I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Stay above the railroad tracks.”
Of course, this being my Gran it could have only been two teenagers and a carton of beer. But yet, I was quite relieved to be back in the safety of her house. Maybe my intuition isn’t so off anymore.