I had so many things to be angry about. So many people had wronged me, from my biological father who molested me, to my beloved grandmother who’d bailed him out of jail and brought him home to live with me after he shot my mother in the head, to my mother who taught me that I was worthless and unlovable, to the so-called friends who had used and betrayed me over and over.
They wronged me. They hurt me. They deserved to suffer for what they did to me. How could I possibly forgive them, especially if they were not even pretending to be sorry?
The other day I was gifted with the opportunity to practice what I preach.
I received a shock that left me hurt, angry, and more than a bit anxious. My tummy churned, my breathing became shallow, and I slipped into negative thinking – angry thoughts towards myself and others, fearful thoughts about finances, dark humor.
Twenty years ago, there was no Pagan community to speak of in the Okanagan Valley. My sister in spirit Rowean met a girl named Unruhe, and they started talking about forming a Yahoogroup for Pagans in the Okanagan. Rowean had come from Prince George, where a couple who had been trained by the Wiccan Church of Canada in Ontario had opened a shop and formed a community years ago; and Unruhe had moved up from the Coast, where there was a very large and established Pagan community; and they missed it. I was a solitary from the time I was 14 years old and the idea of connecting with other Pagans appealed to me. I knew a few others from the Society for Creative Anachronism and so I encouraged Rowean to call Unruhe up. We met in a coffee shop - I think a Tim Horton's, but don't quote me on that - and discussed the idea. Unruhe and her friend Perchta formed the Yahoogroup, I was the third person on it and Rowean was the fourth. We decided to meet for Sabbats and the first ritual was at my place, led by a Celtic Witch named Havoc.
Over time, the group split over the typical ideological differences that split Pagan communities, compounded by the fact that most of us went through the stuff that I would now, as a Witch, refer to as "Second Degree ego issues," all at the same time. There were hard feelings and bad blood. Some people bowed out of the community for a long time. Some spread rumours about other groups. Some bowed out entirely and disappeared.
I’ve always wanted to be consistent. Walk one path with loyal dedication. But it was not to be.
Born with a perverse need to be both sceptical and spiritual, I have a checkered religious history. I’ve been a Jehovah Witness, Anglican altar girl, and agnostic (a few times). Twenty years ago though, I found Paganism. Instead of dogma and moralizing, it offered me a celebration of life and a treasure trove of symbols and traditions to explore.
One of the things that troubles me about money magic is that all the spells are focused on getting some more of it in my pocket. That may be reflective of how most people approach money (something which must be acquired to achieve security or happiness), but it falls far short of what this medium of exchange is capable of in spellcraft.
This weekend I had the pleasure of leading a group of people through a magical ritual designed to help them forgive those who have wronged them, and I used money as the method for gathering and releasing that energy. It worked as I expected it would, but there were also some educational surprises along the way. Some results were immediately felt, while others may take some time to manifest.