I went to a witch today, in the sacred space the women share. I felt its power as soon as I neared, I always do. The same quiet consideration for my presence, the same welcoming embrace of acknowledgement. The space envelops all who enter with pure heart, as it was made to.
I made a seat for myself and waited. For what, I did not know. But I did not need to. I have been healed, hallowed, and held in this space. I have been made to light up the dark parts of myself and to give them love. I have been led through the most frightening moments of my story and I been taught to embrace them with the same unconditional regard a mother gives her child. Whatever will happen here is sacred. Whatever I encounter, I trust.
I closed my eyes and breathed the way I've been taught to, letting the air fill up my belly and spread my ribs wide. Letting my body settle into the arms of the earth. Letting my mind quiet in the stillness of such magick.
I heard her soft steps behind me and waited. For instruction, for a story, for whatever would come. I smelled the familiar scent of the herbs, heard the flick of the light for the candles, welcomed all the senses in and in. And then I felt two smooth wands being placed into my open hands. I knew what they were, my mind labeled them. But to me they felt like heavy battle axes- tools to face down something big.
Being in the middle of my grief I thought I knew what they were for- we were going to fight, we were going to do battle. We were going to go deep into the darkness and face whatever was lurking there. My breath faltered, tears biting against the backs of my eyelids. It's a habit, really. It's a pattern that hasn't been broken up yet.
But what came next wasn't instruction or guidance. It wasn't a story or a song. It was the gentlest touch of the most healing hands. It was the loving caress of a wise woman. It was the beginning of a journey within- one I had not taken before.
I let myself go to it, trusting with every cell, every breath, every movement. Trusting the tweaks and pushes, the gentle pulls, the loose shakes. Trusting the guided rolls, the reminding nudges. Trusting the process, and the woman leading me through it.
My mind wandered, it always does. To my past still pulling at the backs of my eyes, threatening another flood of tears. To my future so bright but frightening- having to take my own steps, to trust my own forged path, to allow the mistakes without fearing them. And to right now, embraced in a loving touch so powerful and wholehearted that I erupt with a feeling I did not expect: guilt.
I feel guilty in the presence of such love, I feel unworthy of so much compassion, I feel undeserving of such a complete offering. My mind lists the reasons- I have wronged, I have hurt, I have injured. I have broken a family that was happy and whole before I left. I have given up something real and tangible for a dream of something much greater- one I have only glimpsed. I do not deserve this, I cannot accept it- reserve this kind of love for someone other than me.
The moments in which we practice self hatred are so varied and insidious.
But my heart can hear past the babble of my mind and the quiet roar fills me: just let. So I do: I let.
And I am filled, and I am emptied. I am rolled and I am stilled. I am gently, so gently, loved. And I let.
And in the quiet of the aftermath, when I am nothing more than my bones and veins and muscles, when my mind and madness have left me again- I hear her soft words. These are wise words, I know. I welcome them with all of me, I offer them space to take hold, to implant. I open to them and hope that they will guide me through the storms ahead.
She gives me one warning: do not judge. Do not tell stories. Do not organize or categorize or try to make sense of it- which my conscious thoughts are already trying to do: forming hypotheses and theories of meaning and importance. Do not do these things, she tells me. I cannot know yet, I cannot hold yet, I cannot use these things as new patterns, new beliefs, new things to carry me forward. I must walk on my own.
So I try to do as I am told, I try to place one foot in front of the other without any assumptions of where I'm going or why. I try to catch myself when I start down yet another vision, another fantasy, another self-important tale. I go forward without knowing: trusting that, loving that. And I let.