I am a reader. Always have been, and likely, always will be. It was my escape when I was younger, and has turned into a large part of my identity as an adult.
I spent a lot of my time in our previous place, lonely. I have some amazing friends I’ve met there, life-long friends, but- as unfortunate as this sounds- I never felt I could be all of myself with them. I’d lock pieces of myself away to make sure I was agreeable to them, or that I wouldn’t offend or upset them in anyway. Especially my inner-witch. Not to mention, when you’ve lived somewhere you’re entire life, it’s hard not to be bogged down by who you once were- and until I moved, I didn’t realize how much baggage I was still carrying from every personality I’d tried on trying to find myself.
I didn’t want that here. I knew that in order to grow, I’d need to let all of myself out of the dark. The light would need to shine, on all my brokenness, in order for the pieces to start weaving themselves back together into a complete person.
I joined a local Pagan group on Facebook, where a lot of us designate ourselves as witches, and an idea struck me- what if I met friends based on my love of reading and being a witch? My home-town friends came from school, and we’d reconnected as adults so there was already a feeling of familiarity (both freeing and limiting in equal parts), but here? Here I had an opportunity to let people see who I was before becoming friends with me. I could fly my freak flag as high as I wanted, and only those who were attracted to my particular brand of crazy would want to join in!
Monumental courage doesn’t even describe what I felt when I hit publish on that fateful post. So many were interested in the idea of a witch’s book club that I knew I had struck gold. Somewhere in those strangers was my tribe.
Today, we sit down for our first meeting of 2019. This month’s book was a bit dry for my taste, but I’m still looking forward to getting together with these ladies and discussing their opinions. Normally, we don’t stay on the topic of the book too long, as we get rapidly sidetracked by becoming friends and learning about each other. I have a feeling this time will be no exception.
Our book for January was called Old World Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi. I picked out this book, and was so excited to start reading it. It’s description stated that it was a look into the history of witches, and the excerpt I’d read was very interesting.
I’m sorry to say, the rest of the book did not live up to the hype. For me to not want to finish a book, even just so I can say I finished it, is rare. I didn’t finish this book. It was repetitive in a way that had me rolling my eyes quite a bit, and never really provided very much factual information (or really much information at all) to back up its claims. It had an idea, which was spectacular, and just found different ways to reiterate it over a span of a hundred or so pages. Others in the group liked it. One friend said that she found it interested because she enjoys learning about our witchy history- so, like all things, it’s up to the person whether it’s a good book or not.
However, it’s not really the book that I look forward to, although, there’s been some interesting reads and I’ve learned a lot, it’s the company. There is an entire group of woman- witches– that is reading along with me, all on different and unique paths, but unified by their desire to read and interact with other people of like-minds. We all have different backgrounds, lives, and experiences, but this book club lets us be ourselves in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.
We are witches. And for some reason, the rest of our lives- the differences- don’t seem as glaring as they used to with other friends of mine (who had much similar lives to me) that weren’t witches. I suppose when something defines who you are, and is integrated into every faucet of your life- how you think, how you see the world, and how you interact with everything- denying it for the sake of agreeability means denying those friends from knowing me.
The shame is that it took this book club to make me realize how much of myself I’d hidden away, kept to myself, for the sake of not wanting to rock the boat. I’m preforming spells for friends here, planning circles and rituals, discussing lunar moods and the astrological influences affecting our lives, and I had none of that before. Yet, it wasn’t that I couldn’t have it- my friends probably would have at least entertained my thoughts- but I never reached for it.
Not because it wasn’t available, but because I was afraid.
Not anymore, Witches. I am powerful, I am magickal, and I am me. In order to become my friend, you must accept all of those things, otherwise, you’re missing out on everything that makes me, well, me!
If you’d like to read along with us for February, the book we’ve chosen is called A Whistling Woman is up to No Good by Laurel King. I’ve already started it, and when I say it’s phenomenal, I’m understating!
Until tomorrow, my friends…