By Beverly Wilkes
When I received the email from Rebecca about the Wiccan Rede, it gave me a wonderful moment of nostalgia. I first learned about the Wiccan faith from some new friends in college one early fall night while we were hanging out at a bonfire by the river. I had never heard of it and asked a lot of questions trying to figure it all out with my limited knowledge of Christianity as my guide to compare. When William recited the Rede it was like a priest reading from the bible. He told me of the first witches and of magic. He was my mentor in many things and the leader of my coven.
What drew me to Wicca and why I keep these traditions is a complicated thing. I guess the clearest way to explain it is that Wicca completed me. I had gone to church with my parents and learned of the bible because my parents told me to. I never felt like any of it made sense. I felt like the religion was from a book. How could a book with its finite pages teach me about how to be a good person? Wicca is different. It doesn’t tell you how to be but rather helps you be.
“An it harm none, do as ye will.” A simple phrase that says so much. To be a good person, to be a happy person, just do what you want as long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone else. Once I accepted the idea that I did not have to please everyone around me, the world became a wonderful, beautiful place again. My sister has commented that she envies my ability to not care what others think of me. Others have asked me how I can do things like not wear makeup or how I can express myself the way I do without worrying what others may think. I say simply that no one is responsible for your happiness in this life but you.
Whether you believe in The Lord and Lady, or Buddha, or God, or any of the other thousands of possible deities that this world has known through the centuries, you have to decide how to interpret what they offer and act accordingly. For me, following a solitary path, The Lord and Lady are symbols of life’s cycle. They represent the seasons and the spirituality of man in a way that none of the other religions, at least those I know of, do. They make more sense to me and fill a place that I never knew was empty until I heard the Rede.
For a long time, I had not practiced, I had basically laxed in my faith. After I left my coven to move to West Virginia I continued for a time but eventually stopped unsure of myself and my belief. Then after moving again this time to New York I did not even keep an altar. A few years ago William, my mentor passed and I even began to question whether I had made the right choice. Recently, on the night of Samhain, I decided to renew my faith and once again honor the Lord and Lady. I had been thinking about the Sabbats and what they mean in relation to my life when of all things one of my cats, Min Yen, showed me my path. She was rooting around in a bookshelf, somewhere she is not supposed to be, and when I fussed at her she jumped down, knocking down a book on the way. A book that William gave me. “Eight Sabbats of Witches” by Janet and Stewart Farrar is a wonderful book and tool for any Wicca and I found myself reading it again within moments. Adding to that a recent gift of a tarot deck I found myself preparing for the ritual of the third and final harvest of the year and remembering my cherished loved ones who had passed. My faith was restored and I find myself writing this chaotic but hopefully helpful story for Rebecca’s readers. That said, blessed be to all.
About the Author:
My name is Beverly Wilkes. I hail from Glens Falls, New York. I’m a thirty-something with two kids who walk on all fours, are fuzzy, and don’t talk very well. I am currently obsessed with Facebook, and can be found there under same name and I have written/may write more fan fiction for “Supernatural” on the Fanfiction.net website under the pen name Almost Heaven.