So I just wanted to throw up a quick post saying something along the lines of, “Gah I wish I hadn’t stopped writing I’ve had so many interesting things to blog about OMG I can’t wait to share it all with you!”…except I can’t remember even a tenth of the things that have come up in my noodle during the months of absence.
It’s been a tumultuous time. I started that new job–amazing, btw–and three months into it I applied for and accepted a promotion as Director of Nursing. I’m scarecited. Excared? You combine scared and excited how you see fit and let me know what you come up with. Scared because I just came out of a job that made me feel incompetent, insignificant, and like I was a lunatic into one that I feel supported, appreciated, and like I’m actually making a difference in people’s lives–excited because, well, hi, promoted after three months is just exciting!
We’re trying very hard to plan for a trip to Salem in October, something I swore I’d never do (Witch city in witch season? I’ve gone mad.). I’m thinking it’s not going to happen, and back up plans will have to be made. Nonetheless. I really, really want to at least see the Nurse farm in Danvers as Rebecca and Francis Nurse are my 11th great grandparents (13 generations I think it works out to?), and I got to play her in The Crucible in high school. It was an incredibly powerful production we put on, too. My parents hugged me extra hard after they saw it, knowing our genealogy and my nefarious interests. Look on their faces? Worth it.
You know, that’s a thing. I’ve been reading a lot about legitimacy in Wicca. It’s a hot topic right now. Well, it’s often a hot topic, but the conversation certainly waxes and wanes. Short version: Practice your damn craft instead of worrying about how authentic it is. Long version: People seem to predicate authenticity on things like initiation, having a Gardnerian lineage (i.e., Gardner is somewhere in your lineage even if you aren’t in a Gardnerian tradition), and antiquity. Initiation doesn’t make you a witch–being a witch makes you a witch. The whole Gardnerian issue is it’s own beast. There are just people out there who are going to say you’re not a “real Wiccan” without Gardner in your up-line. The antiquity thing–since when has “it’s old” been a reason for something being real? My Droid Turbo just came out this year, but I’m pretty sure it’s a legitimate smart phone (I really like it, btw). It’s a logical fallacy. Wicca as we practice it now is not, and has never been, an unbroken unchanged religious practice dating back thousands of years. You may find certain things we do that date back thousands of years…you’ll more easily find some of those things in the hundreds, dozens, or several years ago categories. At one point every religion was new, but that didn’t make it “not real.” I personally feel that Wicca is an evolution of indigenous pagan belief and modern spiritualism blended with ceremonial magic–it doesn’t HAVE a starting point, but we can deduce an evolutionary point around the 1930’s to early 1950’s in England.
But people crave authenticity and justification. I’m not going to say they don’t need it, but I want to see a change in the defining parameters. How about something like this: does it have a positive impact on your life? Are you practicing effective magic? Is it coherent and philosophically sound? Or is it not sound, and that’s part of the Mystery?
One of my favorite things to tell people is that I may be full of shit and I’m OK with that. I may completely, entirely wrong about my religion, my craft, my perspective of the world. It’s OK to be wrong–and it’s also OK to take new information, new experience, and make intelligent decisions, even alterations, regarding one’s path based on that. This is what draws me to Wicca in the first place–even traditions are organic. My tradition is not the same as it was for my High Priest and Priestess, and when my coven hives under new leadership, it won’t be exactly the same for them, either. It has to grow, change, adapt for the future. My authenticity is not predicated on being right–it’s predicated on practicing my craft.