Then my mother died in 1998, when I was almost 24. Nagging questions returned, mom and other presences made themselves known regularly. There were voices and sounds, feelings of movement in the air, awareness of that tingly sensation that occurs whenever there are beings there. I needed to know what death meant. At least now I could assume that there was something afterward, if my mother was still talking to me, calling my name with her voice, and walking down through that creaky spot in the hallway to check on my daughter. I needed to know how to pay more attention and gain more knowledge about the subtle things. I wanted to see how things began, so I could follow them out to their ends or change them from underneath into a new pattern. I felt inclinations to do certain things, and then would feel the flow of extistence with those moments of grace where basking in the harmony of it all is enough to make you excruciatingly happy. I then realized that at those points in my life, just by following those inclinations, exciting opportunities popped up to put me in the right place at the right time. The universe looked out for me. The name 'witch' came to me. That must be what I am I reasoned and felt a freedom with the word. Another woman who was in my extended family was going through a similar phase at this time. We realized that we were witches together, but within a month or so of our realization, I had followed one of my inclinations and moved to California, losing contact for many years.
Once I got into San Francisco, every now and again I began to look at someone or become aware of someone, and we would share a moment of silent communication. There were words or pictures and an almost imperceptible nod of the head shared by both before we went on our way. This would happen in walking, on the bus/train, at the post office, at school. Not many people were like this, so it didn't happen very often. I had normally lived in small towns before, so proportionately, I may not have found anyone there for years in my day to day to have this sort of quick connection with before.
I worked with a group of Wiccans who found me and invited me in for a year. With the leader and one of the priestesses, I felt a connection of alikeness. I learnt from them some external knowledge that I lovingly carry in my memory and use, like the importance of following my dreams, the wonder of sitting in a circle, and how to really feel the moon. Many times though, it felt that we were acting out something that wasn't a part of me. Why did I feel so different than these ones who use the title witch?
During this time I had seen the film The Matrix and was reading some of the Hermetic texts. While riding the bus, I had a deep realization that life all around me is like a web, interconnected. I looked out the window to see a flag waving turn into green lines connected to the green lines of the building, connected to the green lines of sky, connected to the green lines of me. I walked around with a grin on my face and a tear in my eye for the next three days, feeling and crying with the beauty of everything around me. Even the dead earthworm that my cat brought in as a present was beautiful. I wasn't alone anymore.
Soon, I was drawn to another group. Within this group, I began to work with one priestess in particular. She had come out from Pennsylvania and was really more than a priestess, but hadn't been named such by others yet. She was a priestess of Hecate and had been brought to the crossroads years ago back east by another witch she had just met. This other witch had had the mandate from Hecate to bring this priestess to the crossroads. Rituals with this priestess present were different than what I experienced with just the others in the group. We decided to work a ritual together invoking Hecate and Diana. I had been fascinated by the story of Diana in "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches", and I had begun working to befriend her at this point (eventually Diana and I developed a connection, but she never claimed me as her own). The priestess called on Diana without answer. But, when she called on Hecate to be with her priestess (meaning her, not me!), I felt a vibration taking over my body. I was standing stiff, unable to speak and then waving slightly with the vibration. The priestess asked if I was okay. We then aborted some of the rest of the ritual actions she had planned so I could rest. The priestess and I became lovers. Hecate had claimed me, using one priestess to move on to the next, as is still Her way. I left the group shortly thereafter and lost touch with the priestess a short while after that. Our purposes together had been completed.
I remembered stories my mother would tell me of how her mother would see ghosts. About this time, my brother got married with our mother's picture next to flowers on the altar. During the ceremony, my sister and I lit the candles on each side of mother's photo. Our maternal grandmother was there as well. Once we sat down, I was aware of my deceased mother's presence at the end of our family's first pew, a couple of rows up from where I was sitting with my sister and daughter. "And why did they sit us so far back here anyway", I was thinking. And mom up there was looking down at the pew and wondered why she didn't have a seat there in the first row. I had a bad omen about the new couple's marriage (they were divorced within 3 years). Later that afternoon, I took the opportunity to talk to my my maternal grandmother about mom's presence at the ceremony. Grandma said she saw her there too. We both cried in joy. I was corroborated. This part of me that is so different had a shared open witness, and one in my family at that.
At some point in 2001-2, I began reading some of Wizard Luxas Aureaum's sites, and was really getting excited about Rooting Witchery and Witchcraft. His explanation of witch matched my personal understanding and what I was looking for in others. Witch is a core of being, not the outer trappings that some of the others I had worked with had tried to make it out to be. I read and communicated online off and on for many years. I wanted to go out to Maryland and work with him in person, but wasn't able to until Jan. 2008. When I did, Hecate kept arriving again and again. She even lifted me by my head over and over so that I was waving front to back while I was laying down on my back. She lifted me so much so that my body came almost halfway to standing without my assistance. I felt my aura sparkle more than ever before. I learned more deeply what it feels like when Hecate is present, and I learned what it feels like to communicate with other witches under the surface, beyond words. My life-long questions were being answered.
The High Priestess of the Root Circle at that time, Lady Uranyia, and I talked for hours, and I got to see the free flow of psychic energy working in another witch. I had the opportunity to watch the patterns of anger between Wizard Luxas and Lady Uranyia as I sat and learned to shield the best I could. I learned the power of Lilith as well as respect for Her. I carried the beginnings of our bond home with me after that 2nd trip, when I found myself wondering why I felt like causing pain to myself just so that I could experience feeling it. I began to desire, just for the sake of desiring. I grew more aware and in control of what is NOW and what is really deep in the moment underneath and above what is going on on the surface, and how to connect with others in these places. That is what I had been looking for answers to all along. These are answers that I could not have found in books, but only through the direct experience such as I was receiving.
Luxas and I talked for many hours, and I traveled to his location 5 times in all. He has this wonderful hypnotic quality about him when he talks to you, very soothing. He helped me to explore things beyond my comfort level, making me a much stronger and more vocal woman than ever before. It hasn't all been fun or what I would have wanted, but I do not regret. I jumped in and did the best I could, although I did make some grumbles along the way. Now, after looking back at the patterns, I do understand why I had to do certain things. I was on the fastest, most direct track to receive what I wanted from the training, the deep energetic experiences that carry me into a place where the answers come through me and to others for the future. I also know that this type of work is not for every witch; and if she is of the type, the fact will be found out in one brief moment upon meeting Luxas. Witches can be guided into growing their skills, but the underlying fact is that they were a witch in potential underneath it all, just without their skills grown into usable awareness yet. Also, I experienced that not everyone who thinks they are a witch is one in this way; and not everyone who is a witch knows themselves by that title.
Next, I became connected to Isis through Dark Witch Delti. I was reading out loud from a book that Luxas had orated for me to copy. I felt that I was calling presences about. Delti said that she saw a lot of light going on around my head. Then Isis started talking through her, telling me that my back pain was going to get better. Delti said that she saw Isis put her hands on my back and shoulder when she said this. Isis was right next to me. This was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Soon, I was to have more, as I put two witches through their separate entrances into the circle, according to the mandate of Hecate and the request of Isis. To witness Hecate and Isis separately and powerfully come through the others in the way I have felt Them come through me during my connections with them is mind-blowing. One goddess connection was shared with each witch; and then I realized that I wasn't ready to guide more fully quite yet without some extra time and experience on my own hands.
All the intellectual information in the world is fun, but doesn't satisfy me. Even in college, the most enjoyment I got with the information that I was learning was the fact that my two favorite professors had minds that were very well conducive to having me peek into them for images that fit their lectures while they spoke. I loved getting the buzz from their mental excitement over the topic. I equally loved filling in the gaps their words left with the fuller mental patterns that they were speaking from. These they held in their mind's eyes.
Being put into the Circle of the Root and working through High Priestess and then Full Witch has satisfied me incredibly. I have tools and abilities that allow me to find and answer any question I have, and many of my old questions have been answered. Even questions that I didn't know I had or questions that I had forgotten find their answers shortly after I ask them. The only thing is that the answer doesn't always come in a form that can be easily transmitted to others in words, so I will be answering them for others in different ways as they come. I realize that once I successfully walk from my body, travel and safely return, then I shall have completely vanquished that childhood fear of death, which was the biggest question that I had in the first place. I know more questions will come, as they should, because we are forever learning in life, or at least we should be if we want any sort of a life worth living.