Broom Closet Blues

13 06 2007

Sometimes it’s wonderful that there is a small group of like-minded spirits with whom I interact, and that we have our secret pathways and places of meeting. Sometimes, it’s constraining. Not because of the people, but because of the people you can’t tell.

Practising as a solitary, I feel acutely the lack of covenmates. This is not to say that I long for a coven as I don’t think this sort of working would suit my temperament. But I am much more suited to being open about my doings; not strident, just clear about what I am and am not up to in my days. Particularly in the family. My brother is up-to-speed with his broomstick, turning folk-into-frogs jokes and black humour about curses, which is just side-splitting, let me tell you.

I don’t suppose a coven would solve the problem, or would indeed be any different from the loose convocation of solitaries, web contacts, site contacts and friends that I have already. I’m lucky – all my contacts are not in the same place, so if I should lose one, I don’t lose all. But you see my dilemma.

Safety in numbers?

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13 responses

25 07 2007
Hedge

“Safety in numbers?”

Probably not, I suspect. I have no inclination to work within a group; it’s wonderful for some, but I didn’t even get a slice in my pie chart for team work (Belbin), so I’ve meandered along somehow or other on my own. I don’t really make a big thing about what believe – no “My other car’s a besom” stickers on my bumpers and not a bottle of black nail varnish to my name (red is so much more flattering), yet I’m managing to be out of the closet in my own way.

I think the trick is to stop caring what people will think and how they will react. The logic behind this is that if they’ve liked you so far (however long your relationship has been with them), then the ones that are worth keeping as friends or acquaintances will stick around, whatever you are.

You’re an amazing person. You’re funny, witty and intelligent – if people are going to get funny about what you believe, are they really worth worrying about? I’d suggest not, though this is only my humble opinion! 🙂

26 07 2007
wiccanwanderings

You’re lovely.

You’re right about what other people think – should they not like it, they can do the other thing! but the companionship is still enormously comforting. I’m lucky with WW, as it’s such a fantastic and supportive place. Lots of my contemporaries cannot say the same, that they have found a place where they can be themselves. Luck. It’s all it boils down to – that, and a Deity willing to lead you in the right direction…

7 11 2007
Hedge

Ah yes, the timely intervention of the Gods… it’s what must have brought me back to this part of your blog. I have been in a grey fuddle of late (depression and some lack of direction) and needed reminding that I should focus. After the jollity and camaraderie of the Mercian gathering, I started to wonder if I wouldn’t like being part of a group after all.

Being the ultimate autocrat, there’s not a chance of me coping in a traditional coven environment; I’d be telling the HPS her business within days and out on my ear shortly thereafter (and I doubt I’d find one to let me in anyway)! So, I thought, here are a group of people and it was fun, so why not..?

We all got together at my place the weekend before Samhain to celebrate and it was… interesting. I offered someone else the opportunity to lead the ritual. Initially I had done so and was deafened by the silence, but I talked to the person and they decided to lead on the little ritual that I had written.

Now, while it was nice to have other people to go to the stones with (I’d probably feel like too much of a plank on my own with all the dog walkers there are), I struggled terribly with the constraints of my own writing and accommodating other people. I realised that even though I had written the thing, if I had been on my own, or even leading, I’d have ad libbed and improvised and followed my gut instincts and whatever flowed through me.

I suppose that the strapline of Safety In Numbers means more than one thing. It’s not only about being with others, but it’s about trusting your inner core totally and having the freedom to express your belief and divinity in a way that would be as challenging for others as this Samhain was for me, being in a group. I expended more energy trying to calm people, bolster their confidence and listening to some serious twittering, whilst trying to appear democratic and chilled, than I did on my faith.

I’m really sorry to use your blog as a confessional (you can take the girl out of the Catholic church but you can’t take the Catholic church our of the girl) but I couldn’t express this on the WW forums for fear of undermining people and making them feel belittled and unwelcome – do feel free to hit the delete button. I just figured you’d understand. So here I am. I like the idea of teaching and guiding people, but I don’t have the patience to get to the point where I can. And I’d make such a good Cult Leader. What a waste. 😉

8 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

This is such familiar problem to me. I long to feel included in a group but know that I’d last about 5 minutes, what with all the kibbitzing, politics, yadayada. It shouldn’t be the case that other people would make my worship any more official, or real – somehow, though, it does.

I can’t work out if this is weakness on my part, or if I’m still unconsciously brainwashing myself to want the comfort of the church congregation like when I was a child – boring, irrelevant for me, but comforting because the words were familiar and they never changed.

I think we naturally assume there’s safety in numbers; but what I’m missing is that there isn’t at all. I’d have loved to come to Mercian – I wish I had, as the reason I stayed at home seems pointless now.

Perhaps too many people is too many, but a few might be ok.

And you are welcome to come here and say whatever you like – I set this space up as a place for me to come and say my piece and that means my friends can also. Consider yourself well and truly In The Place!

I’m looking forward to Beltane. My friend Mav and I will be doing something quiet here for Yule; she feels similarly to us that a crowd just isn’t conducive to worship.

Autocrat! Ha! If there was one word that said it all about me, that would be it!! I love it. We could have a HedgeWitch Autocrats Motoring Club!

8 11 2007
Hedge

No, I don’t think you are weak. To be weak would be to take each spoon-fed tenet and never question it, giving away the authority to question, dissect and opt for what seems relevant and workable. There is a great delight in the large gathering, the ceremony and companionship, but for me it is going to have to remain as an occasional opt-in, rather than my usual way.

Oddly, I don’t feel safe in numbers; I’d have made a rubbish wildebeest. I suspect three years in a convent was a very successful cure for that, or perhaps I never progressed beyond my teenage rebellious streak and am firmly fixed there in my dotage.

For me, the group represents compromise and I’m no good at that. It’s always going to be a compromise between the multiplicity of paths, pantheons, styles and just about every element. Now, it’s possible to assemble people with enough similarity to make that reasonable and palatable, but the compromise that I can’t bring myself to accept is the twitter, angst and jockeying for attention and approval that goes with it. I’m no Mathair with her infinite patience and kind heart, but a curmudgeonly old troglodyte with no patience for fools.

I thank you deeply for allowing me to vent here. Sadly, my own forums are no longer a place that I feel inclined to write and expose myself and my thoughts. Sad, but true. I have set up my own private site on which I shall have my regular rants and musings. Give me ten Juliakis rather than the neediness and whingeing ingratiation that masks the passive-aggressive manipulator!

One thing though… might we call our group the HedgeWitch Autocrats Motoring Society? It makes for a much better acronym. 😀

Talking to you have given me an insight that has been a long time coming. I did have someone, in the past, who was not Witch but very spiritual and like-minded and amongst our many adventures, we did some amazing sex magic. Maybe that’s the thing I am missing. Yes, you know, I feel sure it is…

8 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

I think it’s important to have one other, if you like to work in a team, but not in a crowd. This is certainly the way I like things to be. You can have a dialogue, it’s binary and therefore comfortable within the parameters of the binary oppositions I see in the Faith.

I have 2 partners for this, Mav and I are growing together, she’s got a load of things to share with me and I hope vice versa, we we at school and at college together and were never friends but I think we were waiting till the right time!

My other partner and I are beginning to do more work together, he’s a long way away and therefore it’s difficult, but we share the interests and read together and discuss – it’s comforting and informative.

I’d like to know more about the sex magick, I’m reading a book I was bought and trying to make sense of it. Any recommends?

8 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

I’m also sorry to hear about the forums not being somewhere you can vent; I can see what you mean. Mathair is amazing isn’t she – how she keeps her countenance sometimes I don’t know, I’m gnashing my teeth and headbutting the screen!!

Be here and be welcome. Would you like posting privileges? I can’t think of anyone I’d like to give them to more!

8 11 2007
Hedge

No recommends I’m afraid. There is a bit in the Janet and Stewart Farrar’s Witches Bible about it and the rest happened rather by instinct and almost like I had always known it. It’s very powerful when you get the hang of releasing your intent at the moment you’d otherwise not be thinking at all. You should give it a go. Maybe we should save this one for it’s own topic!

I am deeply honoured that you have offered me posting privileges, but I’m going to decline. The reason? Well, the glee I feel writing here is a direct counterpoint to all the responsibility and requirement to be sensible and politically correct at WW and not even knowing if my posts will be approved makes it all the more fun. Thank you though, I am touched.

Being the non-diplomat that I am (Kim calls me confrontational, but only when he’s out of head-butting range), I have added a post about how I feel in my own forum. I don’t think it will change much, but it is a statement of intent and that might stir a few things up. We shall see.

Back to the topic in hand – “Not because of the people, but because of the people you can’t tell.” Nope, here we’re different. I think word has got as far as our local Vicar that there’s a Witch living nearly opposite him and I used to stand in front of the whole Chamber of Commerce wearing a pentacle on full show. For me it’s because I have painted myself into a corner of political correctness and management that I feel constrained.

9 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

I think this is the right way to go about things – similarly, when people ask me I can make the decision to tell them or not, but they’re likely to find out anyway just by watching the visual cues! Hell, the vicar knows – I told her when we were getting R blessed. It’s mother that don’t!!

I’ll be interested to see what effect your posts have on WW. Your honesty might hit the mark with some, might confront others too much – but that’s their problem entirely.

I understand your reasons for not taking up posting here – but I hope you’ll continue to give us the benefit of your comments – they’re a breath of fresh air!!

9 11 2007
Hedge

I hope you’ll continue to give us the benefit of your comments – they’re a breath of fresh air!!

I don’t know about that, but coming here is like sneaking off to the sweet shop with a sixpenny piece in your pocket in the days when giant Mars bars cost threepence! It’s the indulgence of talking to someone with high intelligence and a talent for reasoned discussion. (Oops, did my intellectual snob peek out from behind my petticoat?)

Orin amazes me. He was an ‘interesting’ teen, but has now grown into such a nice chap. He really did get it. No matter how many times I reiterated that I didn’t want to shut the site down, had no plans to, all people seemed to be saying was “well, you can shut the site if you want, though I’d miss it.” Was I not clear that my problem was about my interaction with the site? Did I suddenly lose the ability to write coherently? I think not. Sigh.

I do feel like a bit of an immature plank for wearing my pentacle at the Chamber, however, it was not so much to pronounce my faith (as most of the people looking at it wouldn’t have known or would have assumed I was Jewish) but because my boss did know what it was, which troubled him greatly, and also because he had trouble keeping his eyes off my cleavage anyway. While he was looking there, it meant that I could get on and do the things I wanted without interference! These days I look more like a WI worthy than the black varnished, purple-haired brigade.

Don’t you find that people gravitate towards you? I don’t know if it’s the vibe I give off or because people want to make friends assuming I’ll have cake and biscuits at home from my girth, but following this path certainly seems to have made me more ‘magnetic’ than previously. Not that I was ever a wall-flower after the age of twelve (when I learned how to deal with bullies).

You know, this is so good. You talk about how you feel and perceive (it is after all your blog, even though it may seem I have forgotten!) and I can do the same. What sheer delight that you aren’t telling me that you know how I feel and what I think. Even more pleasure that you have your own views and take on things; it’s a great comfort not to be ‘the voice’ and just one of the flunkies!!! (actually, scrtach that, I’d like to win EuroMillions tonight so I can buy a landed estate and set up my Wicca centre… and have flunkies 😀 )

9 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

Well, I know what you mean, but there is always the assumption, no matter how clearly worded the declaration, that things can’t continue. I have posted some words on this – I know you mean not to close the site but I think it’s appropriate for people to remember that we’re lucky to have the site – again, something of a ‘use it or lose it’ vibe. We get a lot of people who are willing to be carried along by the remiander – who literally put in no effort. Not Wiccan, but the mere function of numbers.

Do people gravitate towards me? I guess they do, although I do have a somewhat unwelcoming vibe in social life… but in working life, yes, I do well with clients, partly I think because of what people see in me. If you have a spiritual life of any kind it shines out of you. Humans are drawn to the spiritual power other humans put out, I’m sure quite unconsciously. I certainly don’t think people make friends with you in the hope of cake!!!

I don’t have much truck with the Gothic side of things, possibly since I did all that when I was 12 and it seems such a retrograde step for me. I love writing here too – I get to whinge on to my heart’s content and only say what I really mean to say. A great freedom.

If you’re amenable, I’d love to read your blog – you’ve got a very wry and perceptive take on this life – refreshing and unusual. xxx

12 11 2007
Hedge

Hmmm, I have vented, ranted and said my piece and you know what? It feels good. I saw your comment and chuckled. Deessedechasse certainly resonated with me and maybe I have created a monster; I shall try to resist any references to Frankenfurter or you’ll go off on one. Sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy and impose so many restrictions and ‘rules of engagement’ upon myself that I make it impossible for me to function – I had got there and needed a good boot up my well padded derrière to remind me how things are – you were a huge part of that, so thank you.

I have spent the weekend picking up “I want!” emails and calls from one of my web clients so haven’t made a shred of progress on the site (a rather groovy events management web application, if I say so myself (you can look on http://www.faroffice.co.uk/protfolio.html)), but hopefully, she will give me a few hours peace and quiet over the coming days and I shall send you the URL as soon as there’s something to show. Having just ranted on WW about Remembrance Day, that may be something I continue on my blog.

You give off an unwelcoming vibe? Maybe I didn’t spend long enough in your company to see that bit. You always seemed very up-front and friendly, or maybe I’m obtuse. Nah, I don’t think so. 😉

12 11 2007
wiccanwanderings

Perhaps not unwelcoming… what’s the word? It’s not ‘threatening’ but perhaps ‘too strong’. I guess it all comes back down to other people’s weaknesses – if they’re not strong enough…. well!

I’ve given up being nice to people because I should be, and I’m going to endeavour to be better toward those who deserve it. The Christians can keep on turning the other cheek – after a while it ceases to be the nice thing to do and become self-flagellation. Can’t you see me? GreenWitch the Boxing Kangeroo lol!

Your venting has yielded nothing but positive results and that is exactly how it should be! We ought to be able, at our age, to shake free the constraints of our upbringing, polite society, etc etc and do what’s genuine. I find a great freedom in this – I feel more whole as a person and filled with more of what makes Me, Me.

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