Our lives are a collection of stories. Truths about who we are, what we believe, what we came from, how we struggle and how we are strong. When we can let go of what people think, and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness–the feeling that we are enough just as we are, and that we are worthy of love and belonging.
–Dr. Brene Brown–The Hustle for Worthiness
This time of year, we are regaled with every type of story and legend that one could imagine. From childhood, we are taught the legend of Santa Claus. We are told of this large, big-hearted man dressed in a red suit who watches every move we make. As witches and pagans, we tell and re-tell the stories of the Goddess and the Holly King and the return of the light when the solstice comes upon us.
As I walked through the stores at the mall this weekend, I saw stacks and stacks of storybooks. There was everything from “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” to “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.” As I walked haggardly through the aisles, I started people watching. I wondered what the stories were behind the faces of the people passing me by.
A dear friend of mine from back home came to mind. She was a strong, determined woman. You see, she had survived a concentration camp in Germany. She was a singer in her younger days and when the Nazi regime took power, her mother made the daughters bleach their hair platinum so that they looked ‘more German.’ She traveled the German countryside by bicycle to avoid the SS soldiers. One day, she had taken a route she had taken many times over. She was stopped by a Nazi soldier. Her Jewish features would betray her to this soldier and she was sent to Dachau concentration camp. Because of her musical background, she was used as entertainment for the soldiers. At night, she would sing to soothe the nerves of the children imprisoned. She would tell stories of how women who were able to hold on to one piece of treasured jewelry (including her own mother’s diamond) would swallow the jewelry first thing in the morning, then with the evening bowel movement, clean the jewelry and hold onto it for dear life as they slept. This beautiful woman was and is a survivor. She will tell you that is by faith and determination that she was spared. It is the same determination that you see in every part of her life today. It encompasses every fiber of her being.
As I walked through the woods this morning in the wee hours, I thought of my own story. Mine is a story entwined with many things that children should never be expected to endure, but it is also woven together with magick. When I think back, even in the days of the sexual abuse, I can see where magick came to the rescue. Even in those days, I was being taught by the Lord and Lady how to bring vision and intent to the front of my mind.
I was reminded that even in the midst of the deepest depressions, I was being guided by Crow magick. I was being taught not to dwell inside myself for too long, but in those times of depression, to reach outside of myself and toward others. It was in the times of my darkest depressions that I was able to be the biggest help and guidance to others.
I watched Mama Crow this morning hopping from tree to tree. I watched as Friz sought patches of non-existent sunshine as a soft drizzle fell on us. I lifted my face into the light mist and thought about the fact that the darkness was receding bit by bit and that the sun was returning. I visualized the goddess rising from her sleep dressed all in white, silver and pale blue. She stands before the Horned God and offers her hand to him. They begin a slow waltz across the wooded floor carpeted with leaves and debris. As the light becomes stronger, the dance becomes faster…raw and wild. At the end of the dance, the maiden becomes heavy with child…ready for the next turn of the wheel. Her story…always continuing…a circle…never truly ending.
My story continues…with every step I take…every breath. I am the only one who can decide that the pages stay blank. My book of shadows is filled with little reminders of who I am: feathers and spells, things I have found on my journeys, pictures that I love…things that all tell my story. To anyone else who ever found it….it would seem a book filled with useless trash…but it is me. It shows that I, just like my dear friend who survived the concentration camp, I am determined….I am a survivor. Don’t we all have to escape from our own prisons daily? Don’t we all have to swallow those things we find valuable sometimes for the sake of others? Don’t we have to dig through crap on a daily basis? My story swirls with magick. It holds adventure and excitement….love, power and magickal creatures untold.
An old friend died this past week. I got to know her when I was working on a Lakota reservation years ago. She would tell me stories of stories that her mother had told her of life after the white man invaded the Lakota way of life. She would talk of the strength of her people…she would talk of the power of the Great Spirit…and she always talked of where she was going tempered by the experiences of where she had been. Her eyes sparkled…her spirit danced. Oh how I loved the heart of this warrior…stronger than any male counterpart. I can see her dancing across the summerlands…this warrior doesn’t carry a shield. She carries with her the story that she created and engaging anyone willing to listen.
What is your story? I would love to hear it? Weave your magick for me. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org