All right, I've got some semi-pointless rambling to do. Unless you really want something in-depth, I say skip this one.
But, I don't want to make you feel like you wasted your time visiting, so I offer a lawyer joke instead:
St. Peter and the Devil are walking along the fence between Heaven and Hell, each on their respective sides watching the other. After a while, they come to big, nasty hole in the fence.
St. Peter says to the Devil, "You'd better fix that hole."
The Devil says, "No."
St. Peter scowls. "Now, Devil, you know you'd better fix the hole in this fence."
The Devil says, "Make me."
St. Peter takes a deep breath, tries not to lose his temper, and says, "Devil, if you don't fix that hole, I'm gonna sue you!"
The Devil laughs. "Where are you going to get a lawyer?"
Ba-dum-bump. I'll be here all week.
So, I haven't really gotten into this subject much here before, but I want to now, because, well...it's my frickin' diary and I can.
For the past six months or so, I've been heavily involved with a local pagan organization - taking classes, going to events, getting into the organizational aspects. I've really enjoyed finding this community, and I've been overwhelmed by how many amazing people I've met, and how much fun I've had working with them. I've mentioned some of that here - the tarot classes, the public rituals, the awesome people.
What I haven't really gotten into is the fact that part of diving into this work has been coming to terms with the fact that I'm starting to identify (or maybe just that I'm starting to realize I have always identified?) with a particular set of religious beliefs.
See, I've always thought of myself as sort of "outside" the world of organized religion - I've studied so many different faiths, I've always thought of myself - like many great scholars (not that I consider myself one, but I pattern after them, I guess) - as pan-theistic, or post-theistic, or maybe beyond-theistic? I haven't ever felt like there was any one faith that could encompass my beliefs.
But, as it turns out, I think there may be.
I think I might just be a witch.
Over the past few months, I've gotten more comfortable with the idea of ritual and spell-work, and I've learned so much about Reclaiming (the particular tradition within the larger witchcraft "umbrella" - for lack of a better word - that I've been involved with) that I've come to the conclusion that maybe it can make room for all my beliefs. Moreover, through this (ongoing) educational process, I've come to realize that my beliefs don't mean much if I don't integrate them with the reality of my life - if I dont make them part of my daily activities and thoughts, then what's the point in having them?
A big part of this realization was an experience that happened during one of the classes I took last month - a class that introduces you to the "Elements of Magic" - those being Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. During the class, we had several trances, and each one left me more off-center and shaken than the next. During one of them, I actually fell asleep....on my stomach on a hardwood floor in a room full of relative strangers; considering how much trouble I have getting to sleep at home in my nice, comfy bed, that says a lot - I'm not sure what about, but it's definitely outside the realm of my experience. Which is unsettling, to say the least.
So, basically, getting involved with this community has been a catalyst to making my life more authentic, and to sparking self-examination that I think might actually lead me to healing a lot of old wounds...and maybe help me make the world around me better, too.
That's amazing to me, and if I have to "come out of the broomcloset" and get used to thinking of myself as a witch, well...hell, what can I do? My beliefs are asserting themselves more strongly every day, and I'm past the point in my life where I'm trying to hide from any truth, let alone my own.
So, yeah. My name is Tari, and I'm a witch.
Is that a wart on my nose???
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.