Living representation of the Goddess or no, I am fundamentally human. As such I am fraught with human frailties and limitations. Sometime in my late teens/early twenties, I developed an anxiety disorder. I discuss it frankly and openly for two reasons: 1) It is part and parcel of my experiences, helping to shape the life I have lead and 2) It is important for people to understand, both those who have never had anxiety and those who struggle with it, that it doesn’t have to rule your life. There are dark times, days that are harder than others, but with treatment and compassion, 99 days out of 100 I am happy and anxiety free.
There are factors in my life right now that challenge that peace. I won’t discuss them here because those factors stand to negatively impact other components of my life. I will simply say this: Part of my self-therapy is reading. Reading fiction gives my mind a chance to take a break, divorcing itself from this reality long enough to let it rest so that I can tackle anew, with fresh energy and rational thoughts, the factors that seek to rend my peace asunder. In the last 10 days I have read roughly 2300 pages in one of my most favorite book series of all time, the last install of which I just finished.
I’m not going to tell you what it is unless asked if only because I don’t want to spoil it for those who believe in spoilers (I don’t) and intend to read the series. As to why I don’t believe in spoilers, that’s another discussion altogether and may or may not have any impact on my philosophy as a Wiccan, but what follows definitely does impact that philosophy.
At the end of the series, the heroine has sought across impossible distances the Name of God to free her friend from an immortal curse. She stands upon the seas and commands the angel who is the architect of this curse to be banished and take his curse with him–binding her command with the Name of God, which the angel cannot refuse. Since the Name of God is one of the greatest Mysteries, it is more than a mere word, mere sound. It jangles in her head, fills her until she feels like she’s going to burst, causing her to view even the most minute aspects of Creation with the greatest awe. At any rate, she speaks it, and freeing her friend, and she is left exhausted at the end of her journey. When she asks one of her companions what he heard, he says that he asked the same question of the myriad of folk who were with them, all of whom spoke different languages. They all had the same answer, in their own tongues: though the Name of God was vast, there seemed to be some underlying form to all of the syllables, and that form was the word “Love,” as each knew the word in their own language.
People have asked me why I got a degree in English literature. It is this–it is the power of words, the beauty that can be wrought, the meaning and depth. There is so much that is left UNwritten, that is between the lines, even in prose. Poetry was lauded as the highest written artform because of its ability to convey to so much meaning in so few words–men wrote poetry, whereas the novel was left to women’s purview, the implications obvious in a patriarchal culture, but that has changed over time. Now it is the novelist who is praised above all writers, and the poet is deemed outmoded.
These are the things that I take to Wicca. It is this–that words are powerful, and this is why spells and witchcraft come with rhyme and ritual. Whether the words are in poetry, or shared in prose, they impact us in the soul level. And the Truth, the form of the gods, be they one or many, in all of their names, underlying the soul of Creation–there is Love.