This is probably an odd post for my first post on my new site.....but its a relevant post. Its about spiritual growth and the continuing journey to finding ones spiritual path.
When I was 13 I purchased my first ever tarot deck, in of all place, Spencers Gifts. Being a naive 13 year old, I automatically assumed the pentacle was the mark of the devil. That was until my cousins girlfriend at the time explained to me what it was really a symbol of and thus began my journey into WICCA. I felt immediately connected to the Craft. It offered so much, specifically the idea of a Mother Goddess - a powerful female figure that embraced all. She was open to everyone embodied everything that a woman was-- sensual, sexual, powerful, beautiful and full of knowledge and wisdom. Not a bad role model for a teenager! Of course I began to read up and absorb everything that I could. Naturally, it made me a bit of an outcast in high school, which reflectively, I think made me a stronger person. Fast forward to when I was 20. I was seeking a group of like minded people. I met with several "covens" but none of them really felt like a family. It was more of an ego trip for most. Then I finally met the group I was to study and become an initiate of totally by chance (lets say that AOL Instant Messenger, an AOL profile and Our Lady of Enchantment was involved). It was fated. I love the Temple of the Seekers. I learned so much, but more importantly I learned about things I wouldn't have found in any other group-namely, Ceremonial Magick. Here before me was a whole new additive to my spiritual practice. And it was something that I would continue to study for many years. At or around the same time is when I started having very vivid dreams about a white serpent who spoke to me. He became my guardian. I didnt quite yet understand all that he was to become, but I learned later just who he was.
Life started happening of course and I had to step away after 8 years. I still studied whatever I could. I practiced regulary even if solitary. I met other people who were interested and we would do rituals once and awhile. I got married, got divorced and then.....thats when everything changed. I started having dreams of the white serpent again, and after a recommendation from a friend I started to read "Mark of Voodoo" by Sharon Caulder. I started feeling a connection. Especially when the photos showed a house full of Ball Pythons. For those who dont know me, I used to be a professional Snake Dancer. My snakes were always my companions. But, how was a white girl like me supposed to connect to an African based religion. I learned it didnt matter. When the Lwa call....the Lwa call. The more I read about Voodoo the more I began to understand who my dreamtime companion was....Damballah. Damballah is the White Serpent in Voodoo is said to have created the Earth. And he was and still is with me constantly.
The more I studied the more I began to find a real sense of coming home. I began to intertwine my practice of Ceremonial Magick into Voodoo. Needless to say, I feel more comfortable in New Orleans based Voodoo since its a mixture of several things. When I relocated to Flagstaff, Arizona from Boston, MA, I was in a complete culture shock. No covens, no groups, no metaphysical shops---nadda- nothing-zip. I attempted to start my own study group, but it was hard. And the hardest part for me---was that most people practiced WICCA--and I, well, I grew out of it.
Its not that there is anything wrong with WICCA, but to me, it feels immature. Not immature in a bad way--but it does not have the ancient roots that Voodoo and Ceremonial Magick have to offer. WICCA is afterall, a reconstructionist religion. It has the ideas based on something ancient, but there is no direct line, no direct lineage save for the fact that it was reconstructed by Gerald Gardner. Belonging to a lineage that can be traced back is something deeply powerful and meaningful.