Hell No at Halloween
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
Doubt has been replaced with anger. The answer is, â€œNot no, but hell no!â€ Disappointment has been replaced with perspective. I know what I know, and Iâ€™m so fucking pissed at anyone Â who knows Â nothing Â about Â something and tries to tell me otherwise, Â when theyâ€™ve either never had the experience or they feel their own personal taste is superior.
Samhain is definitely the time to honor whatâ€™s passed in the last year and let go of whatâ€™s no longer serving us. Iâ€™m Â approaching Â this Â from Â two Â directions, Â both Â with epiphanies about what Iâ€™m choosing to let go and what I wonâ€™t Â and why. Â Leaving Â behind Â old doubts Â and disappointments is the theme of my Samhain this year. Â The fact that I have perspective Â now is good. The fact that Iâ€™m pissed off is even better.
During a conversation at the Florida Pagan Gathering with Raven Grimassi and his wife, Stephanie Taylor, I ex- pressed my disappointment Â over how in the past year, previous mentors had not wanted to move forward into what I consideredÂ new territory (for us, at least). My desire was for us Â to learn and experience together. Iâ€™d felt there was so much to learn, so Â much â€œnew knowledgeâ€ and new experiences Â but, for the most part, my Â former mentors not only didnâ€™t want to venture into that territory but they discouraged me as well. When they werenâ€™t discouraging me, they Â were generally telling me how to interact Â with Â somethingÂ Â they Â themselvesÂ Â had Â not Â attempted. I had had a hard time understanding why others wouldnâ€™t want to learn something Â new or try something new, but I do understand that wanting to blaze trails and be the guinea pig for new experiences is something Â that really, really thrills me and that others are often comfortable being exactly where they are and donâ€™t want anything new or different.
I donâ€™t remember Â if it was Stephanie or Raven, but one of them said, â€œYour former mentors Â werenâ€™t meant to go with you Â into this new territory. Maybe their job was simply to get you to that point, but not go with you beyond it.â€
That was a wow-moment Â for me, the kind I see visually.
At the edge of the known world, Iâ€™m looking over my shoulder and stepping into a dark terrain, alone, with all my Â former Â teachers Â and long-ago Â friends Â and previous mentors standing behind me, some reaching for me and others yelling after me and still others lighting candles to bring me â€œhomeâ€ to them. All of them desperately trying to hold me there where they felt I was safe and they felt safe and in control, too.
They grow smaller in the distance as I make my way alone, realizing that the ground beneath my bare feet isnâ€™t well-lighted yet, but itâ€™s Â lush. Iâ€™m now at the steps of a garden and thereâ€™s a lot of light ahead, with some particularly lovely blooms I can see in the distance.
Itâ€™s an image that sticks with me, and one I will use to release much of the old tonight. I realize now that to venture into new territory, itâ€™s Â been absolutely necessary to walk alone, or at least, in a very, very tiny group, and that I never would have learned what I have in the past few months or experienced Â all this new growth in who I am in the past year if I had stayed in place or all those who used to travel with me had accompanied me on this journey.
In Â another Â conversation with Â Stephanie, I off-handedly mentioned Â something I Â hoped Â for Â over Â the weekend. I didnâ€™t really see it happening, but I wanted to leave the possibility open. Then Stephanie said, â€œNo, no, no. A witch does not â€˜hope.â€™ A witch does not â€˜believe.â€™ A witch does not â€˜have faith.â€™ A witch knows.â€ She was right. I already knew. I knew what I said I hoped for would not happen. In my Â heart, I knew. I knew the timing for it wasnâ€™t right, Â the logistics Â werenâ€™t Â right, and that it just wasnâ€™t to be at that time. Very soon, but not at that location. Â Before Â I Â left Â home, Â I Â had Â already Â unpacked Â the things I would have needed if it had occurred.
Thereâ€™s been quite a bit of that in the past two yearsâ€” knowing Â something without recognizing it, only to have people Â swear Â angrily Â that Â Iâ€™d planned Â something Â ahead when I hadnâ€™t or that Iâ€™d meant something a certain way when I certainly hadnâ€™t at the time. Thinking back now, it did look like I knew. I just didnâ€™t know that I knew. Now, I do. I still know things that are to come, and itâ€™s far more than hopes. I know. I just donâ€™t Â know exactly Â when or how, but I know.
Which brings me to something that made me red-in- the-face angry today. It really pisses me off when people try to override what I know is right for me by heaping on negativity and feeding doubt.
Blame it on Mercury in retrograde again, but I just received Â a Â month-old Â e-mail Â from Â a Â friend Â whoâ€™s Â been heavy on relationship advice in the past year. Sheâ€™s unemployed, her Â divorce Â isnâ€™t final yet, Â and sheâ€™s Â in serious danger of losing custody Â of Â her kids, losing her home, losing everything because sheâ€™s been so focused on male attention that sheâ€™s neglected her home. Yeah, Iâ€™m being a bit judgmental. Absolutely. Iâ€™m really seeing a difference between us right now and I really donâ€™t think thereâ€™s any basis for our continued friendship. I think itâ€™s served its purpose, as much as I hate to say that.
So todayÂ I get an email Â from her thatâ€™s out of sequence with the latest news. This is the email before her life caved Â in. She spends Â the Â first 5 paragraphs Â talking about 5 different men sheâ€™s sleeping with. As Iâ€™m reading it, part of me wonders if itâ€™s fantasy. I mean, do real people spend ALL their time in bed? Gods! I have a mort- gage and kids to feed. I have a job. I have projects. I have non-sexual stuff to do.
I also wonder if maybe thereâ€™s something wrong with me that I donâ€™t seem to let my libido drive my life. Iâ€™m not Â screwing Â everything Â that Â crawls Â out Â from Â under Â a rock, Iâ€™m not clinging to any and every man like a piece of fuzz Â you Â canâ€™t Â get Â off Â your Â fingertips, Â and Â Iâ€™m Â not planning my life around my next date or when the phone might ring. My life wonâ€™t end tomorrow if I donâ€™t get laid tonight, and for the most part, Â Iâ€™m choosing not to get laid rather than be indiscriminant. Â My sex life is Â a Â conscious choice, and itâ€™s my choice.
Though I may rant in my journal, I can actually have a conversation Â that Â doesnâ€™t Â include Â sex, Â though Â I realize now that every conversation Â with her for the last three months has been focused on her sex life and Â her sighs over my lack of men. I just donâ€™t get it. Iâ€™m reading her email, Â thinking, Â we Â have Â nothing Â in common Â anymore and you are a sad, pathetic little cookie.
Thatâ€™s when I get to her last line. The one that suggests I not wait Â for something Â special. No, Â not â€œsuggests.â€ It does more than suggest. It denigrates, it in- troduces doubt, it sneers, it condescends.
It really pisses me off.
I didnâ€™t ask her opinion. Iâ€™ve told her very little. But this is the Â third Â time Iâ€™ve heard this from her, just not quite as directly.
A year ago, I was hearing the same crap from plenty of other Â people. A year ago, I would have doubted and felt depressed and felt pressured to just give in and scoop up the next blob of maleness to ooze into the room and smear it all over me. A year ago, I was letting people see my kind-hearted compassionate Â core Â and Â then Â stinging from their assumption that they could help me direct my life when they couldnâ€™t direct their own. Thereâ€™s not any doubt now, not any trust in these words of â€œfriendly advice,â€ not any acceptance of their opinions, not even any hurt that they donâ€™t agree with me or support me or seem to care that their words sting me. None of that. Itâ€™s some- thing Iâ€™m releasing this Samhain because itâ€™s a big change for me over the past year.
So when she tells me how I need to be more like her and give up on the idea of someone special in my life, I donâ€™t Â even Â hit Â reply. Â Instead, Â I Â hit Â delete Â and Â mutter something under my breath as she vanishes into the murk behind me.
My answer back is a firm â€œNot no, but hell no!â€ Be- cause a witch knows. Because there IS something special out there for me, something Â worth waiting for. Because Iâ€¦know.