Where can you possibly go after adventures like that? Being still very much in my youth, my early 20s to be exact, I wanted the adventure to continue. I still had many, many unanswered questions.
One of those questions pertained to the spiritual side of life. I never was satisfied with conventional/traditional Christianity. Too many of my questions were left unanswered or answered by basically blowing me off with the convenient response, “That’s a matter of faith.” I mean, what kind of an answer is that? I started getting those kind of answers in my early youth. Here I am, a kid, trying to understand what’s being taught to me and I can’t get a straight answer!
Where that led me was on a quest for a path of spiritual belief that would answer my questions or, at the very least, have the guts to say, “We don’t know.”
The secondary purpose of my quest was to find a path that incorporated at least some of the philosophy I was starting to formulate concerning life on planet Earth.
That philosophical side of me was being more and more stimulated as I explored and experimented with various sides of the occult and paranormal. The more evidence that accumulated that there was life after death, reincarnation was a possibility and we were much more than our physical body portrayed us to be, I just couldn’t see myself settling for a spiritual path that denied all or even most of what I was seeing with my own eyes.
I remember that back in the 70s my choices were really limited, as far as spiritual paths were concerned. I did investigate the Jewish Kabala and found it very interesting, but women were still very much second-class citizens where Judaism was concerned. I also check into the philosophies and practices of Buddhism. That, too was a very interesting path. Unfortunately, there weren’t the books and other sources of information that exist now. It would have been difficult to really learn it well.
I was beginning to believe my choice would be to just be spiritual and not follow any given path when my friend Dee, who had a friend living in a nearby town, told me her friend had told her about a Witch who was opening a shop in Toledo, Ohio (about 45 miles from where we were). This sounded very interesting and we were both really psyched to meet this woman and find out what she knew.
The trip to the shop, as I look back on it, was a real adventure into the Christian doctrines that had been ingrained into my head, even without answers to my questions. As you walked into this shop, that had black walls and ceiling, your eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to a huge – floor to almost ceiling – painting of Baphomet in purple. Irregardless of all the questions I had, the one that took a giant step to the forefront of my consciousness was, “Is this woman a Satanist?”
Let’s hear it for Christianity! Here I am, telling myself I want to be open-minded and embrace other possibilities, and my mind is going down the path of “If it ain’t God, then it’s got to be the Devil!” Oy! The sad part about all this is that that particular belief took me five years to let go of. It showed me that programming of any kind, in our youth, has an affect on us much later in our lives. When we just allow ourselves to become basically automatons in our everyday lives, we are operating from the programming of our youth. Is it no wonder so many of us live in fear and find our lives less than happy?
But I digress. In all my reading, which had become quite avid, I had read the few books that existed at the time on Witchcraft – known by its practitioners as Wicca. One of those books was The Complete Art of Witchcraft by Sybil Leek. It made quite an impact on me, as did Ms Leek herself. She was not only a Witch but an astrologer and a journalist. I was impressed.
Her book spoke of a spiritual path that had a Mother Goddess as well as a Horned God, the Goddess’ s Consort. It spoke of the One Law, “An ye harm none, do what thou wilt.” It also spoke of seven tenets for living in tune with Nature and all living beings on the planet. One of those tenets was reincarnation. Witches believed we lived more than once! They also believed in the occult (hidden) side of life. This sounded very attractive. It fit with where my experiences where leading me. So, yes, I had many, MANY questions for this Witch.
Our first journey to the shop was filled with conversation about what we might expect. Other than the shop and all its merchandise, we were disappointed that she wasn’t around and wouldn’t be. It would take us two more trips before we would actually meet her and begin to get to know her and the path she walked.
The details aren’t really all that important right now. What IS important is that I felt I had finally found a spiritual home. You know that feeling that you’ve “come home”? Well, I had it and I embraced it with the intensity of a thirsty man who’d just found an oasis filled with wonderful, plentiful cool water.
I’ll bet you want to know if I got all my questions answered, or if at the very least she admitted to not knowing the answers. In both cases, the answer is “some”. My journey had barely begun as I trod a path between two worlds. My adventure was continuing and I had no idea where it would lead.
But you rest for now. There is more to come. I’ll return shortly.