Long ago, I realized that we cannot always do what is easy; sometimes we have to do what is painful. Over the last two years, my spiritual life and the ministry which I have been building since 2008, has been in an ebb and flow of painful destruction followed by the miraculous emergence of restorative circumstances; I know this is the hand of The Divine.
Some of you have seen the most recent (metaphorical) chemtrails left by the (metaphorical) airliner of this destruction and are asking “WTF?” I’ve given some vague and noncommittal answers. (I have overcome public and private outrages and the seemingly Sisyphian task of constantly defending myself against slander and libel. I have been accused of animal sacrifice, of malicious magical practices (including causing miscarriages), of “casting on” children, of sexual improprieties galore, of illegal acts—violence, vandalism, contributing to the delinquency of minors, you name it.)
Though I feel like I’m shortchanging you, I am loathe to make a public statement. Yet.
Just know that I know that you are my friends and supporters and have loved me through thick and thin. And that stoicism never won anyone any stinking badges.
Some of you have seen the “other side” of this disagreement—a few of you even believe it. Believe what you like.
This has been a harrowing experience all the way around: to see the utter deterioration of a soul I tried (against all indications and advice of others) to love as a sister, to have to defend my good name and my physical person, to have to relive—time after time—all of the indignation heaved upon me, to see good people sucked into the abyss of lies, to have to resort to judicial arbitration for what should have been a personal matter between grown women.
Nonetheless, I see the hand of The Divine.
I used to struggle with Faith—capital F, Faith. Over and again during the last year or so, I have had to articulate and champion my Faith—which means I have had to discover what I truly believed and winnow out the mere rhetoric of lip service. It’s been harrowing, but I know now exactly where I stand with my God.
I have had to live in an impeccably virtuous way. Never wanting any of the outlandish accusations made against my person to even appear to be true, I have lived guiltlessly. This, my friends, is freedom.
I have had to stop worrying about the souls and personal decisions of others. I used to “see a lot of good” in individuals and lament that they fell into destructive patterns. Now, I’m too hard pressed to contemplate my own steps that I don’t have leisure to worry about things that aren’t my business.
An absolute micro-manager and overachiever par excellence, I have also had to learn to delegate. That means I have had to learn to trust—another aptitude I lacked. I found that I had to delegate many of my ministerial duties. I temporarily handed my Craft teaching (of seekers and neophytes) off to a seasoned student—whose talents, patience, and aptitude never cease to amaze me—and temporarily handed sacral duties off to a grove priest and his wife—who, it may turn out are better suited for this job than I am! Of course, this means that I had to reflect on the good I had already done in preparing these people for the tasks they had to take-on. Acknowledging—or at least conceding to the existence of—my successes is also a skill I’ve had to learn.
Nine Worlds Kindred, I love you. But I love that you love each other even more.
And I’ve learned a great deal about the law. Twenty years ago my life faced a crossroads: academia or law. I chose the academy. A few years ago I sat for the LSAT and thought about having another go at it. But I am settled in knowing my place is here, among those who need me in my Pagan community. That is one of the greatest reliefs I can imagine—being exactly where I belong.
And, no matter what—either here in this community that I have grown to love or somewhere else (if this one becomes re-toxic)—wherever The Divine sees fit to drop me—we will achieve the vision I had over 10 years ago: the vision of an inclusive pan-Pagan community center, bookstore, supply shop, Pagan ecclesiastical foundation (“ordaining church”) and multi-traditional training center. A vision that includes *all* of the Pagan groups, not just some—certainly not just “mine.” The vision that has been thwarted by covetousness and avarice for too long.
Once again I admit that The Divine *does* know best. Maybe I am just going to go with it and see where She takes me. Because, after all—what else can we do?
So–all that said? I’ve migrated the posts from The Bad Witch Files over to Witchcraft From Scratch (ehshaapple.wordpress.com) and wait til you see what I plan to do next.
I mean, I certainly didn’t see it coming.
Until then — Waes hael, Bacon Fat, Quarks, and 93!