I saw on Facebook that a local witch was holding a healing event for Halloween. I moved to Los Angeles for a fresh start, but was plagued by depression. I’m still reeling from falling into failure with a spiritual community after revelations of abuse of power came out, along with breakups – two loves with abrupt endings I couldn’t. shake. I drove to her chalet on a road full of cars. The door opened to a woman my age in a flowing dress.
Although the stereotype of a witch is someone all black cackling from a Disney cartoon, the witches are actually pagans, members of an earthly spirituality that celebrates nature and women. They communicate with the spiritual plane directly, without intermediaries, and are said to one of the greatest avenues of spiritual development in America. I was raised loosely Methodist in Upstate New York, every pastor I ever met a man. My ancestors, of Celts, used to practice Halloween as Samhain, a spiritual day when the veil between world of the living and the dead is the thinnest. Maybe here I can regain that lost connection.
Inside the wooden house twelve women sit in a circle. For the ceremony, each of us had to bring a photo of a loved one who had passed away. I brought with me a picture of my grandmother in the 1940s, with big curls under a nurse’s white hat.
“Feel their presence,” said the witch. I was surprised when I was beaten to anger. I remember a story about my grandmother: she loved her job but was about to give it up when she got married to follow my grandfather. It was something that haunted her to the very end. She felt she had given away her strength. Did I do that by accident?
My ex was a meditation teacher. I met him when I was a student in his group. When he finished it, having dated another student in the community, he told me to disappear and not come back. I heard. But I also lost a part of myself. Seeking healing, then I joined with some yoga center, where the leaders were later revealed to have abused power. I have learned, with wisdom, a history of this behavior by several masters of yoga, meditation, and other spiritual communities. I’m frozen in confusion – how are healing places so full of pain?
The witch lights a purple candle and places Cards like tarot cards out the table.
I suddenly thought of another time, I was sitting in a circle like this. As a teenager, my two cousins and I sat in the ring as I read cures from a book. I asked them to lie down as I put a quartz crystal hanging from a string on them.
“It’s moving!” I exclaimed, writing down the direction and shape of the swings to analyze and track their energy later. I’m a good beginner: I’ve helped them see where they’ve closed and where they’re open.
“It’s the center of your heart,” I say, reading, nature’s solutions – like other stones to keep or colors to wear – to restore balance. We then stroll through the autumn Northeast woods, appreciating the splendor of natural letting go – all the vibrant orange hues as we listen to the punk ballads on “Revolution Girl Style Now” !” By Bikini Kill! on our cassette player. I have felt the whole. Maybe it was easier to let go then. As an adult, I still embrace the old story, letting him influence my spiritual path.
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The witch explains that witches offer an archetype of feminism in the patriarchal age. Here, the teachers we follow are our inner self. Once, I listened more closely to my inner insights. When did I waver? She let out a scream. We are asked to follow. I feel strong when I howl.
That night I drove home from the witch’s house on a full moon night and decided to keep going. I drag to the Pacific Ocean and pull out a notebook. I tried to write a list of what I wanted. The truth is I don’t know what to say. I perform a ritual of my own, tear the paper, and start a new list in the moonlight. I want to write. Teach. Find love but don’t lose yourself. Take back my power and keep it for good. But I’m not sure how.
Six months later, I reconnected with an old friend and we fell in love. Two years after that relationship, I was accepted into a graduate program in New York. He said he would follow me. Unlike my grandmother, I can be a guide with a loving person I am willing to follow. An old friend in Brooklyn told me she was moving out, and do I want her apartment? Plus, she says, it comes with a bonus. Her neighbor is amazing, a feminist witch.
Driving across the country, we listened to riot grrrl bands, epic songs from when I was a teenage witch.
Then, when my ex contacted me, I stopped him, knowing that boundaries are also magic. I found a new yoga community that I believe in and invest in therapy.
But it was what witches taught me – about honoring my own inner voice and prioritizing it – that helped the most. This is the real lesson. Focusing on graduate school assignments, with every word I am building my body both backward and forward until it knows its worth. The words we write are also a magic.
This Halloween, I am grateful to the witches for modeling the real company. But now I know better not to put them, or anyone, on a pedestal. This strength comes from within.
Other stories of witches and powers:
https://www.salon.com/2021/10/30/my-affair-with-witchcraft/ My love affair with a witch | Salon.com