This time of year always reminds me of where I came from, the hard journey I took to stand on my own feet now. I’m reminded of the girl, so very lost, and the divine intervention that saved her life.
Years ago, on a very cold and very dark winter night, I had a thought:
Where did all of the magick go? Did it disappear with my childhood? Can I get it back? Or is it lost forever?
Or maybe, just maybe…it’s still there. Maybe…it’s waiting, patiently watching me from afar, knowing that one day, when the time is right and my heart is ready, I will remember its melody, and my Soul will take up the song, my body will remember the dance, and my spirit will spread its wings and fly.
When I was a little girl, all the world was magick and romance. There was nothing I couldn’t imagine, no world I couldn’t visit, no story I couldn’t weave with the vibrant palette of my inner vision. The problem I faced was that I viewed myself as separate from all my wonder – to be surrounded by magick, but not of it. I felt Spirit within and around me, but I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t know that the connection I felt was a recognition of the frequency outside of me matching the frequency within. Had I known this, I may not have been so desperate to share my visions and seek validation for my experiences through others, who may or may not see the world as I did (but I always hoped that they did, even as the instinctive hesitation to share ate away at me).
Some said they felt as I did, but they didn’t mean it. Some thought I was crazy but were too polite to say so (at least to my face), and one person (another child) accused me quite calmly of working for Satan (which is of course hilarious now).
I felt alone, judged, and undesirable. So I withdrew from my fantasy world, saving its splendours for my sleeping hours (on the rare occasions they came). As I grew older, the environment I found myself in grew steadily darker and filled itself with a maelstrom of toxic emotions like anger, depression, anxiety, apathy, rage, loneliness, bitterness, regret, guilt, inadequacy, deceit, manipulation, and hate.
No one’s home life is perfect, and I would never dream of trying to present my story as better or worse than anyone else’s – but my story is what makes me unique to this life, and I honour every chapter, no matter how tattered, torn or burned the pages are. The sections I struggled through made me stronger, and the bridges I burned along the way served to light my path ahead.
By my teens, nothing lit me up, I didn’t trust anyone, I was convinced no one really wanted to be around me at all and that my family was bitterly disappointed in who I’d turned out to be. I was forced to diet, criticized endlessly for my skin, weight, and appearance. As a result, I spent most of high school and my one year of college flirting with starvation and illness. How could anyone ever love someone like me? I began to drink, smoke, and abuse the use of mild pain killers. I ended my first relationship in high school with a really great guy because I couldn’t understand why he wanted to be with me. If I hated myself so much, what could he possibly see that was attractive?
I have no idea how my “friends” put up with me. I was nearly bipolar with my vicious mood swings, spending days bitching and complaining about the same things over and over, and then disappearing and speaking to no one. I was completely alienated from my family, who never passed up an opportunity to make me feel small and useless. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be, I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know at all what to do to get myself out of the Hell I’d created – or maybe I didn’t want to get out? It had become all I’d known; I no longer believed another way was possible.
I didn’t see a way out, and eventually came to a place where I just wanted to be done.
I just wanted to die.
Everything had lost meaning; no poem was dark enough, no song cut deep enough. I would spend days in bed, in the dark, in my cold basement room, wondering, What’s the point? Will the world even notice I’m gone? I was bitter, rude… and completely in control of where I was going. But I didn’t know that; couldn’t see it. I couldn’t possibly be in control if things had gotten so bad, right? This wasn’t something I could ever want for myself, so it must be happening to me, not through me… right? Or was all of this damp darkness my own fault?
There was a happy thought.
So on top of everything being horrible and my continuing dance with the temptations of suicide, there was a chance I had done all of this to myself? I’d found a pill I couldn’t swallow.
I realized that if this was all my own fault anyway, then I must be too far gone to ever get better, and there was no point in trying anymore.
I ruined my friendships, destroyed my relationships, and the urge to disappear from this world and just be finished became so overwhelming, in my mid-twenties I found myself in hideous tears, begging myself not to touch my wrists. My world had become the bottom of a deep, dark well, my screams and wails echoing uselessly off the cold, damp walls that towered above me. I clawed at the old, abandoned stones, crying… dying inside. Praying someone or something would care enough to intervene, to stop me before I couldn’t stop myself.
And in the gentlest whisper, She answered.
“Dear, sweet child… Please don’t give up…”
I froze, holding my breath, my heartbeat pounding in my ears, listening desperately for a voice I may have imagined.
There was no sound as my lips formed the question, “Mother…?”
The outpouring of Love that washed over me in response came without any hesitation, and the intensity of it sucked the breath from my lungs. The sensations were so overwhelming, the blackened, withered husk around my heart shattered into a thousand pieces, blown apart by a light in the centre of me that called out to Her in answer.
“Mother, please help me,” I cried desperately.
The unshakable strength of the Goddess’s love for Her lost daughter engulfed me like a desert storm. I may have ran from the shelter of Her protective arms, but She had never left my side. And in that moment, I was reminded of that perfect connection, that divine communion of Soul and Spirit.
“Mother, I’m so sorry,” I cried, suddenly desperate for Her forgiveness for becoming so lost in my own world of shadows.
The Love came again, surrounding me in warmth. It was the Love of our Great Mother: I could taste the fire of Her protection, the sorrow of Her experience of my pain, and the bright, unyielding Light of Her belief in me.
The moment I truly felt Spirit’s fire reigniting inside me, and Blessed Mother’s fierce, unwavering Love surrounding me, I knew I was going to live.
The foundation of my world shook violently, and some of the stones in those cold, dank walls began to move. From the centre of my well I watched them crack their old mortar and pull out towards me in a scattered pattern leading up out of the darkness.
I grasped one of the stones protruding from the walls and pulled myself up. Then I reached out to another, and then another, and I began the long climb up, Holy Mother’s Love supporting me all the way. Sometimes I would misstep, or my hands would slip and I would fall back down, but I grew better and better at catching the stones on my way down, getting my bearings, and beginning to climb again.
Eventually, after a long struggle I’d never known I had the strength to face, I broke free of the tangled, dusty vines that had overgrown my sky and for the first time since I could remember, I breathed deeply and was mesmerized by all the stars.
I felt their divine guidance on my skin, tasted the cleansing of the rain lingering in the air, and felt the drums begin in my heart and echo in my veins. I heard the Songs of my Sisters echoing in the trees, and the corvus calls that replied. I saw the balefires burning brightly in the distance.
Somewhere a wolf howled, and my heart lit up again, growing bright in my chest. My Light shone on the path ahead as I stepped free from the well, and began with unsteady steps to dance.
I knew this story was important. I knew this moment changed everything. I knew I held an answer in my hands that had been lost to so many.
I had been given a torch to hold high, to weave against the stars as I danced through the spiral of life, drawing others like me from their hopelessness, to find a different path; an older path.
In my moment of deepest despair, I had cried out into my darkness for Love, and it was the Goddess who answered.
And the rest, as they say, has been pure Magick.
Please don’t give up.
Please don’t give in.
You’re not alone, and you never have been.
There is a connection between all things, as old as the earth Herself, that can never be broken. A silver thread of Spirit that vibrates with an ancient dance we’ve long forgotten.
Trust in that, in those moments that seem darkest, when the well seems deepest, when all other lights go out.
You are never alone.
And there is a home for you among the children of the Goddess, that has been there all along.
Just follow the thread.
From one Lost Child to another,
all my love,
Witch, Writer, and Wild Heart, Sates has been making magick and seeking Spirit for over two decades. She is the creator of The Corvus Circle, a spiritual movement to rekindle our primal relationship with Mother Earth and Her unyielding love.