“Love is the highest elevation of understanding.”
Fiction. Based on a True Teenage Fantasy.
by The Lily Maiden
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
I’ve been asked by many people what made me decide to convert to Wicca. This is such a loaded, personal, infinitely deep question, that I could make it into a PowerPoint presentation and two-hour seminar. The short answer is that I fell in love. I fell in love with the exhilarating sensation of burying my hands in the earth, and feeling the molten magick of its core. I fell in love with the hundreds of thousands of unique gods. Most of all though, I fell in love with the power that comes from being a witch. Witchcraft is often described as “delicious,” and honestly, I can’t find a more perfect word.
The long answer is that you don’t become pagan, you are pagan; it just takes time to realize it– and I’ve always been pagan.
1994-2005: The Psychic Phase
I was always a highly sensitive child. When I was 3, I saw faces in paintings that moved and spoke to me. I knew what people were about to say before they said it. When I was 8 and 9, I was able to predict events that would always come to fruition. I could give my friends guided meditations without ever having experience in that area before.
I was raised orthodox Jewish, and I attributed my “psychic” talents to a special connection with the Judeo-Christian god. Until I was about 13 years old, I had conservative (and even intolerant) opinions. My key turning point was at my Bat Mitzvah. My Torah Portion was essentially a list, in Hebrew, of animals to sacrifice on the new moon. These animals would not be eaten afterwards, they were simply slaughtered and burned in the name of god. I confronted the Rabbi about the Torah Portion. When I asked why we still recount these irrelevant teachings, he said no more than the word “tradition”. That was when Judaism lost all its appeal.
2007-2008: Harry Potter, Twitches, and L.
This is where my spirituality officially took a different turn. Note, I was 12-13 now, so my stupidity here is justified. I was introduced to Harry Potter late in my life, but when I discovered the series, I became obsessed. There was nothing I wanted more in my life than to be a witch.
In 7th grade, I made a friend. Her name was S, until we discovered the concept of Craft Names, and she changed it to L.
L introduced a group of our friends and me to the Twitches series (a children’s / young adult book series) about twin witches. The series was later made into a terrible Disney movie. L was convinced Twitches was based on real events and people, that she was the one twin associated with the moon, and needed to find her sister who was associated with the sun. L was severely ill, and it took me far too long to realize that. We were all young, naive, lonely, and desperate to believe we were special. Due to my psychic and emphatic tendencies as a child, I dwelt in this mindset for far too long.
For a couple of months, I thought I was her sister, and when I realized I wasn’t, I cried so hard, for so long, that I fell into severe depression that carried over for years.
Over time, L became susceptible to possession. She was depressed and self-harmed in front of me. I minored in psychology in college and soon realized that these weren’t pagan or spiritual experiences she was having. L had severe Dissociative Identity Disorder, that co-occurred with schizophrenia. She refused to get help and cut me out of her life. I realized then that L had never been a real witch.
But I was.
2009-2013: The “Conversion” Era
When I started high school in 2008, I identified as a witch, but I had yet to discover Wicca. When I entered my first new age store and saw all the Wiccan books, I felt so validated. I bought every book I could get my hands on—Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, Silver RavenWolf (I was young and didn’t yet know her work was inaccurate). I’d read under my bed with a flashlight into the late hours of the night. I shared my findings with L. It fed her delusions, but it gave me much more clarity about what was and wasn’t real. I began to suspect she was sick when I was about 15, but I never confronted her about it until we were 22. I had so few pagan friends and wanted to feel less alone.
L and I had our ups and downs around this time, and after frequent fights, we’d go months at a time without talking to each other. Those were the times when my spirituality flourished the most. I buried myself in Wiccan texts. I wrote my own spells and conducted my own rituals. I still identified as a witch, but I felt much more like a Wiccan than I did a witch.
2014-2016: Wicca Lite
In my sophomore year of college, I joined WWU Pagans. I became close friends with a different S. The club did lots of rituals, and “teach-ins,” where we’d teach each other about different pagan topics. At one point, the Arch Priesthood of Washington came to visit our college, informed us about Wiccan Seminary.
I was thrilled to hear about the school but way too busy with university to commit to another source of education at the same time. In my senior year of college, S told me that tuition would increase from $40 a month to $95 unless I signed up within 2 weeks. I was about to graduate at that time and was only taking two classes a quarter, so I began a new form of education.
I learned more in the first year than I’d learned in my 9 years of self-study. I truly began to understand what it means to be a Wiccan and the full extent of how everything in the universe is connected. This was also the year that I cut ties with L.
2016-Present: REAL Wicca
In 2017, I went to a Wiccan Festival for the first time. I was severely struggling through my sophomore year of Wiccan Seminary because working through my chakras at that time was difficult for me. I was still mourning the loss of L.
At that festival, I met my current high priest, my current coven, and the love of my life. I am now pursuing my first degree as a Priestess in the WISE tradition.
I followed the one thing I loved the most until it changed my life, and I have no regrets.