My fingers danced over the spines of the books in front of me. I didn’t know which one I was looking for and I hoped I’d feel something when my fingers lit on the right one. I was nearly out of time, the bus was leaving soon, but this felt like the most important decision of my admittedly short thirteen years of life.
Which book did I need? For a chain bookstore there were a surprising number of choices. I hadn’t realized there were so many different approaches. One of them had to be the right one for me, but which one?
My friends were already checking out with their fantasy novels and trashy romances and I was still sitting on the floor in front of the Religion/Spirituality section searching for a book.
My fingers returned to a book that had caught my eye. It was dark blue and entitled “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.” I pulled it off the shelf. It felt good in my hands; it had a heft to it that was belied by its paperback binding. I stared at the plain cover with its white text and simple line graphic. For a moment the white pentangle in the center seemed to glow. This was the book.
Someone called out we had ten minutes to get to the bus. I grabbed two other books at random, a book of spells and one on numerology, and rushed to the counter to pay for them.
I got back to the bus a few minutes before it closed its doors. As we waited for the last stragglers to make their way to the bus, I pulled out the blue book and started leafing through it. There was a great deal of information within the pages and I didn’t have time read very much of it before the lights dimmed and the bus pulled away from the mall.
What I did read made the hair on the back of my neck stand at attention and sent goosebumps racing across my skin. This was what I’d been searching for in the stories from Sunday school, in the notes of hymns, and in the pews of church. Religion and spirituality wasn’t something found outside oneself and nature but within both.
Wicca took those ideas and built a religion around it, a religion whose main tenet is “‘An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” There was no right or wrong way to approach Deity, no mythology that was better than another, no inherent good and evil, and no intermediary needed between the individual and the Divine. It put responsibility for one’s actions solely on the person rather than an amorphous Deity. It worked with the cycles and elements of nature, it honored ancient deities from long dead cultures, it accepted all races and sexual orientations, it celebrated the divine feminine as well as the masculine, it acknowledged the darkness in all of us, but most of all, it allowed for possibilities, possibilities beyond four walls and the pages of a book.
Within Wicca’s broad embrace there was room for the fae folk I’d played with when I was younger, a space for the ghosts I heard whispering through the hallways, a home for my empathic abilities and premonitions, and a place for my dreams of lives lived before this time.
This was the path I’d been seeking; I set my feet tentatively upon it and took the first steps. Now it was up to me to see where it would lead.
I sat back against the seat and hugged the book to my chest, my face and spirit aglow with anticipation of the magickal journey ahead of me.