Greetings and Salutations,
You’d probably have liked it if I had opened this first letter with ‘Merry Meet’, but later on you’ll probably be relieved I didn’t. I’ll bet your feeling just ever so slightly resentful that I think I know you so well, right? Yeah, I feel pretty confident and why not? The truth is I am you. An older you, not necessarily wiser but certainly more worn. More settled in our skin.
I know, I know, right now you think you know yourself pretty damn well. That you can’t imagine that you have more growing to go through. I’ve got three decades on you and I’m still growing and settling in. You ain’t even close to being done! Are you curious about me? About what you’ve learned and done to become me? I’m not sure how a younger me would react, so you see – I don’t know everything.
I’m approaching my mid-forties and I’m married to someone we’ll meet in college. He’s older than I am and at one point I thought the whole world revolved around him. When we first started dating he’s the one who convinced me to take this whole witch thing seriously. I know you think you’re serious now but there is so much out there and you’ve barely skimmed the surface. Reading four books on the subject, one that you know is more fiction and fantasy than truth, does not an expert make.
Since I’m older than you of course I’m better read. I’ve also tried to find teachers, to find a way to make what I’ve learned feel legitimate. I’ve tried my hand at teaching… and done a not so good job at that. Which is why I’m not teaching you, just regurgitating information in your direction. I’m giving you the information I wish I’d had along with a dash of my insight and probably a little sarcasm.
The teachers I’ve mentioned? Oh, right. I’ve taken classes with a Wiccan school online called Sacred Mists. You’ll first run across them as the College of the Crystal Waterfall and you’ll think the name is hokey but you’ll join anyway because they promise you the recognition that you’re craving. Eventually you’ll go your own way after after earning your First Degree. Crystal Waterfall didn’t have a full Second Degree up and you’ll get impatient.
From there I flitted around taking various online email classes that never really expanded my knowledge by leaps and bounds but I did learn and slowly started piecing things together in a system that worked for me.
Then, one day, I was lucky enough to stumble across Francesca De Grandis’ website and took a few telephone classes with her. That really helped to solidfy my Path for me and let me branch out and want to learn more about Feri/Faery. No, I can’t explain the difference in spelling. No, I still don’t know enough to be proficient with it. But I’m still working through the Dustbunnies class and doing my best to figure it out.
I also went through the Black Rose lessons but never finished those. My own fear stopped me in my tracks, they talk about the witch blood and how if you don’t have that spark in you, then no amount of training will bring it out. I’m scared I don’t have that spark and that stops me from moving forward with them. Maybe one day I’ll scale that hurdle, but by then you’ll have most likely caught up to me.
I know you’re dying to learn something but resources are limited and you’re afraid to say anything to your family. Eventually it will get harder for you to talk about your spirituality once your brothers (yes, plural. There’s another one that will show up in 1990 and he’s going to flip your world on its ear. Get ready.) get a little older and you’re so madly in love with them that you don’t want them thinking less of you. So, I’m writing to you.
I’ll send one of these out via the internet, which really is a time machine, and I’ll believe that young me in 1988 will get these letters and glean something out of them. Good Gods. 1988. I’m a fucking baby. And I know I’m not going to listen to myself, but it will be here. In print. Waiting. One day baby me will want to see what is here. Maybe it’ll be helpful to someone else who is stumbling around, trying to find their way. I don’t know.
And, to be honest, this is probably as close as I’ll ever come to teaching again. I want to, I have this visceral curling in my gut that says I should teach… but I think I’m not so good at it. I’m not well educated, I’m not always good with my words, and I all to aware of how fallible I am.
So here’s a bit of advice, a first lesson if you will. Don’t buy into your own bullshit. You aren’t crap. You might not be a erudite scholar, but you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Self doubt is a bitch and she’ll hound you throughout your life, but once in a while you’ll overcome. Right here, this is proof.
Next time I write to you, I’ll give you a quick history of Wicca, witchcraft, and what it means to me. For now, though, I’m going wander off and let you think about whats here and where you want to go. Maybe you’ll write back and tell me about yourself. Phantom letters back and forth, that would be fun… right?
Bright blessings to you,