coming home

I remember her eyes. And the way that we connected.

I don’t remember her name. I don’t know if I even asked. I don’t remember if we spoke. But I remember this: the feeling of home.

It was 2008. I didn’t know a soul and there I was, in the first ritual. The drums called us to the circle, bodies moved around the fire. I didn’t know what was going to happen.

I took a breath. No turning back now.

On the car ride to the camp, I asked a lot of questions of the driver who I’d just met that morning. What was it going to be like? What should I worry about? What should I know?

(Inside, and quieter, was I ready?)

I’d read about it in Spiral Dance, I’d tried some of the exercises. I knew who Starhawk was. That was about it.

I’d heard about Witchcamp from a friend of my partner. She’d said I’d like it, that I should come.

I showed up. Unprepared.

But now I know (or think I know) that the uncertainty, the hesitant breath was the magick taking hold. That was me trusting in what was to come, that I could be held by strangers and a woods I didn’t know. Yet.

That night. Milling around the fire, invited to gaze deeply into the eyes of a fellow traveler, I locked eyes with her.

I felt I was a part of something bigger than myself, bigger than the world. More expansive than the stars.

Connection. Opening. Unfolding.

And when we danced the spiral dance that night, I saw the eyes of each person in that circle. I smiled and sang and smiled and sang. Each of those eyes would become names, and many would become beloveds.

I would return to the woods again. And again.

A view from my tent at Witchcamp

Coming home.

I started being a witch because of the Internet. Having grown up in the Midwest, I wasn’t exposed to much. I only wandered into witchcraft because of another spiritual group that was wonderful, but not for me.

I have no idea how I found the website that talked about casting circles and calling the elements.

I have no idea why I was drawn to a group that worked with the Spiral Dance, how I came to be in my first coven, how I created my first magickal name.

It all just happened, whispering the names of the Goddess and journeying to see a woman with long white hair. Rituals out of books, rituals that were five pages long and written over weeks.

I showed up.

And it all fell away. I left the coven or the coven broke up, it’s fuzzy now. After many rituals, many flower wreaths and moon phases and magick, we went our separate ways.

I felt into solitude and solitary work, happy to cast circles with salt, light candles, and trance out with a Lisa Gerrard CD.

Still, I knew there was more. I wasn’t home yet.

Until I was. I moved to the other side of the world — to the West Coast.

And then Reclaiming happened. That ritual happened.

I came home. The door was wide open — and I stepped in.

And while there are times when home has its challenges and I can’t quite find that moment of connection, I return anyway.

I return open and ready. Unprepared for the awakenings around every corner.

I wonder what happened to that woman in the ritual. I haven’t seen her again. I wonder if I ever will.

I thank her for the welcoming, the open arms, wherever she is.

That ritual. That moment. Home, at last.

About the Author

I'm a Witch, a priestess, international teacher, often-vegan, invocateur, ritualist, drummer, writer, moon devotee, Sagittarius, and Reclaiming initiate. I am committed to facilitating community growth and connection through ritual creation, storytelling, moon magick, drumming, and embracing beauty in all of its forms. And I am delightfully devoted to Aphrodite, Hecate, Iris, and the Norns. You’ll often find me writing poetry, singing to the moon, crafting songs, and looking for a snack. Here, I'll be writing about the moon, ritual, rewriting personal and collective stories, and poetry. And letting inspiration take the lead.

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