Stepping Stones

I got my first tarot deck the summer of junior year. I stood with my then-boyfriend in an eclectic shop at a local mall, fawning over the pastel cards in one of our final escapades before he left for college in Colorado. He must have sensed my delight, and the cards were gifted to me before the day was over.

It’s hard to say when I really became a witch, but the day I got my cards is the only date I have recorded. Everything else–my obsession with potions, dream sachets, and online mermaid spells at six, the crystals at age nine, the incidental rediscovery of conscious manifestation and starseeds at twelve–had already been threaded into the tapestry of my path. In retrospect, I seemed to have been a witch all along, but July 23rd is simply the day I count. A year after, I dubbed this happening my “witchaversary”, and although this celebration has always been small it is undoubtedly meaningful to me and I observe it with great fondness.

On this day, I choose to honor and celebrate the beauty of the path I was given. The importance of the phrase “honor your path” cannot be overstated in this journey. My friends, there will be times that the roads we travel will be speckled with other souls bringing companionship or epiphany, and times that our paths may be primarily solitary. There will be seasons of growth and seasons of pruning, learning discernment or to appreciate the ebb and flow of life. Take as much of it as you can with grace, and know that you are being led to places of exaltation and growth. You will only vibrate higher, become happier and more peaceful, tapping into both your power and your humanity with balance and precision. 

Once, when I was in eighth grade, I decided to make moon water for the very first time. I had started my first journal after moving yet again, and I compiled my every thought and interest inside the pages. I wrote down in purple ink a recipe for moon water I had found, detailing the importance of setting intent and the duration of time the water must be set out to soak in the energy of the moon. I figured if priests could ask Spirit to bless the water they used that I could ask the same, just amplified with the energy of the moon. 

I waited days for the moon to grow full, and at its peak I gathered my ingredients and set out to the backyard with my cousin and little sister. I reviewed the lines in my journal, sat the glass basin of water into the grass, and stared up into the supermoon. I asked my sister and cousin to join hands with me as we prayed aloud, asking that the water be blessed, imbued with benevolent power and purification. I felt a kind of deep and wild thrill run through me, a palpable magic and familiarity that seemed to connect me to a part of myself I had yet to fully embrace. There stirred in me a sort of peace, a grounding sensation, a homecoming interrupted only by the petrified voice of my aunt as she advanced across the grass, demanding to know what we were doing. 

The aftermath consisted of a recited prayer to remove evil, a cross painted on each of our foreheads in–ironically enough–holy oil, and a heated discussion between me and my two accomplices as we were sent upstairs in expectation we would later be scolded by our respective parents. Although I was a sensitive child, I did not cry. I did not feel that what I had done was wrong, just that it had been misunderstood. Even as a thick awkwardness settled over the car ride to a mandatory Sunday service the following morning, even as my cousin chided that she had no clue it was witchcraft or she wouldn’t have done it, even as my ill-timed cough during communion earned me a few accusing glances, it didn’t matter, the moment could not be undone. For the first time in many years, I had uncovered a miniscule stepping stone in my path. 

I tell this story to say: sometimes following your path is not popular. Although it may not come in the form of having holy oil slicked across your face, there may be moments of disapproval or misunderstanding at your ideas or practices. Alternatively, there may be moments where you experience disinterest for choosing not to take a well-treaded route. Or, it may seem that many of your traveling companions are embarking on a path that doesn’t strike a resonant tone in your heart. That’s alright, wish all these parties well. The peace you will gain through doing what is in alignment with your path and walking in places you know are guided will be well worth the inconvenience others may momentarily flick upon you. In times of mass awakening such as these, many voices arise, and it’s up to each of us to discern which messages are for us and which ones are not (even if we half-wish they were, which we’ll touch on eventually). 

In the months following my first moon water experience, I made it again several times with much less grandeur to avoid attention. I set small glass jars of water out in the night, and hid them in our storage sheds as soon as the sun arose. I would use them quickly in the following days to water plants or wash my hair and face, and although I had no one to share my secret magic with, I felt a power in doing it at all. Now, I stand out in the storms to collect stormwater, and I laugh if the neighbors lend me looks of surprise. I come in, sopping wet and delighted from the rain, and the thrill coils up in me again, a twin to peace of a deep meditation or the spark of a particularly insightful reading. It’s in these moments I know without a tangible doubt that this is the path I came to embark on and the life I came to live. I wish you as many of those moments of joy and belonging as you can receive. 




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