So for the last month I’ve been in Paris for school. This past week I finished my program, and now I’m just here for another week to actually enjoy the city sans homework. My parents arrived two days ago to accompany me. Suddenly the trip has an entirely different atmosphere, as my father is Very Very American. He’s appalled at the absence of ice in drinks, air conditioning, and spacious bathrooms. I think I actually heard him threaten someone at the Louvre yesterday.
Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to write about.
I’m writing because for the last two weeks I’ve been e-mail interviewing with a coven and I’ve made it to stage two: the phone call. Obviously, that has to wait until I get back, but I’m really excited about it. Mostly I’ve been e-mailing with the group’s HP, but it was the HPS who sent me the last e-mail, saying she’d like to continue the discussion via the telephone. I think if I hadn’t done this once before already I’d be scared out of my mind. Now, I figure they’ll either be a match or they won’t. If they’re not, I’ll keep seeking. I was really hoping to find a coven within this particular tradition (which I won’t name out of respect for the group and for the sake of my own privacy) and I’m pleased to have finally done so.
This particular group is very much in the broom closet, which actually pleases me quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m personally very open about being Wiccan, but I’d rather be a part of a group that wasn’t very public. The wider Pagan community, bless their hearts, is just a huge headache sometimes, and I don’t want to get caught up in the drama that inevitably arises when differing trads and opinions interact for prolonged periods of time. If no one knows what you do and believe, then no one’s there to argue with you. I’m especially trying to avoid the “Real Wicca” debate. Yeah, I have an opinion and it’s something I care about, but I don’t want to fight about it. It doesn’t solve anything. Trad Wiccans are always going to go on doing what they’re doing, and eclectics are going to keep on, too.
It’s so weird to be interviewing with coven #2 and thinking back on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I got involved in Wicca the same way most people do nowadays: through a friend, and by reading the kind of books that make me cringe now. I remember being in high school and dreaming of the days when I would have my own money to buy whatever books or supplies I wanted, the freedom to practice ritual openly (outside, even!), the ability to attend festivals and open rituals, and the knowledge and experience to finally feel comfortable with what I was doing. Most importantly, a real connection to the Divine. Now, with or without a coven, I’m finally here. It makes me think about the two friends I started all of this with back in high school. I don’t keep in touch with either anymore. I wonder if they’re still Pagan.
As a sidenote, a million thank yous to my thirteen-year-old self for starting to journal right away and being so consistent. While not every little thing is documented, there’s enough to get an overall sense of where I’ve been. It can’t be overemphasized how important it is to start a book of shadows (or something) right away. My first was a composition notebook covered in duct tape. After that it was three ring binders. Now, it’s mostly bound books. But it doesn’t matter. They all end up being precious in the end.
Anyway, I’m rambling now. In a little while it’s off to dinner at a very French restaurant that, despite the heat and no ice, I hope my parents will find charming and satisfying.