2nd Wednesday: Cottage Witch Corner (everything home, garden & family)
Just because you’re a Witch doesn’t mean life doesn’t knock you for a loop every now and then. I had a huge upheaval a month ago that’s left me reeling. My husband told me he doesn’t want to be married anymore. The future to which we both once looked toward together was no longer the future he wanted, he realized. No ifs, ands or buts about it. No room for counseling or reconciliation. And just like that, the person I thought I was going to grow old with, the person who had been my lover, partner and best friend rolled into one, was out of my life.
If anyone was wondering why Wednesday’s Word didn’t appear for the last couple of weeks, now you know why. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and have been trying to make sense of things.
About 17 ½ years ago, my husband and I were handfasted—a handfasting is a Wiccan wedding ceremony in which the couple’s hands are bound as a symbol of the joining of their lives. I still have the cord that my High Priest and High Priestess tied around our wrists—I’ve never unraveled it.
The cord has sat, coiled and knotted, on a shelf in our bedroom along with a few other wedding mementos: the silver chalice used in our handfasting ritual, an empty bottle of Chaucer’s Honey Mead, and the bride and groom ‘mouse ears’ hats we wore on our 2nd honeymoon to Disney a couple of years ago for our 15th anniversary, which we took after renewing our vows.
Religion and spirituality are not something you do; they’re something you are. For me, they’re a lifestyle—a part of my life, of who I am, that touches on just about everything else. So naturally, in dealing with this period in my life, I turned to my faith.
I’m not suggesting I know just what to do, nor am I telling you what to do in your situation. I’ve never been divorced; I’m far from an expert in dealing with this. But I just wanted to share what I’m doing.
Let It Out
You ever hear the expression, ‘The only way out is through’? That’s pretty much my philosophy about this. I’m allowing myself time to grieve this loss.
I’m currently living at my mother’s house. I work as much as I need to work (one of the perks of being freelance writer— flexibility) and am taking a lot of time for sleeping, hot baths, cuddling up to watch movies and eat ice cream—basically, doing what I can to nurse my broken heart back to health. I’m giving into the emotions, be they depression, despair, anger, etc.
If I feel like talking, I reach out to family and friends, and talk. If I need a shoulder to cry on, a hug, kind words—they’re there for me. If, on the other hand, I need to be alone and withdraw for a while, I can do that, too.
What Wicca has taught me is that the stages and phases of life go on; it’s not the end, it’s just another transition. I can survive it, I can move on from it, and I can take from this experience things that will make me stronger and help me grow.
It would be easy to let the pain get the most of me. I don’t blame people who might turn ugly, petty, and just unleash their fury when they’ve been rejected by someone they thought loved them so much. But I know that wouldn’t be best for him, or for my kids, and it wouldn’t be best for me.
I’m really trying to remember Wicca’s ethics and tenets here. It’s okay to be hurt, but it’s not okay to be deliberately hurtful, and it doesn’t solve anything. It makes things worse for all involved. I can’t hurt him without hurting myself and my children, so I’m reminding myself to tread lightly.
Thank you breathing exercises, affirmations and meditations.
Prayer, Meditation, Pathworking
One of the first things I did when I went to my mother’s place was to set up my altars and shrines. My daily devotionals, prayers and rites are really helping me along. My Gods have always been there for me to draw from them what I need: love, comfort, strength, guidance, patience. So, I’ve been turning to Them, an endless source of energy, to help me recharge and find balance again.
I am finding signs all over. Just a day after I was given the earth-shattering news, a butterfly appeared to me. In the middle of winter, it was quite out of place, even in Florida. It stuck around on my porch all day and landed on my hand. I snapped a picture. If you notice, I have a butterfly as my website logo—there is a reason for that. In recent years, as a lot of changes have been happening, Butterfly has become a spirit animal guiding me through these changes. I never expected this to be one of those changes, but it was as comfort to see it was there to help me through.
Another sign is a squirrel came down a tree to face-height and yelled at me. The last time a squirrel went out on a limb, looked me in the eye and yelled at me, I was hesitating on making a major move. In my research that time, I discovered that squirrels coming into your life means it’s time to dump what’s no longer serving you, get prepared and move forward. It’s probably no coincidence that it happened again at this particular time in my life.
My spiritual training has helped me go within and do a lot of internal work—healing, rebalancing, looking ahead on my path. I feel like it’s been the glue holding my sanity together during these trying times, with all the challenges ahead of me (both physical and emotional).
No, I’m not hexing or cursing him. But a little Witchcraft can usually nudge things in the right direction. I’ve been in too bad a place emotionally to work up the kind of energy I need for full-blown spells, but I’ve been making liberal use of my store of enchanted oils, charged candles, herbal incense blends, crystals, charm bags, honey jars and other things I’ve made in the past. These things were made not for any specific reason; just for general maintenance – peace, health, prosperity, relaxation, inspiration, purification, balance, etc. I’m just glad they’re there, they’ve help given me a boost.
I am planning some spells… maybe for a couple of months from now. More specific spells for cleansing, purifying, healing and who knows what else, are going to be beneficial in the near future. I plan to move to a new city in a couple of months, so I’ll probably be applying spells liberally toward that goal to help it go smoothly.
Rite of Passage
A wedding is a rite of passage; it marks an important event and kind of shifts that switch in your mind to help you go from one state of being to another. Rites of passage are important, as a wise Witch once drilled into me. They make transitions easier.
Separation, divorce, etc., unfortunately, are rarely given the same importance as a wedding. Yes, it’s a sad occasion, nothing to (usually) celebrate. But marking the end of this relationship is to me, in my religious perspective, as important as it was to mark its beginning.
In Wicca, this is called a hand parting.
Unfortunately, my soon-to-be ex-husband doesn’t want to participate in any kind of ritual or spiritual event to mark this particular passage, so I’m left to do it on my own. I’ll be picking a date—I’m not exactly sure when, yet (perhaps the anniversary of our marriage; or perhaps on the waning moon after the divorce papers are finalized). At that ritual, I’ll take that handfasting cord and untie the knot, symbolically undoing all the vows and commitments we’ve made to each other.
After that, I’ll probably do another ritual when I find a new home and move, to celebrate this new phase in my life. That doesn’t mean everything will be all better… I’m not expecting any single action to be a miracle cure. This man was a huge part of my life for more than 20 years and that doesn’t just go away. But untying the knot…. It’s a step in the right direction.