Well I’m finishing up my time in Salem, MA today. I’ve had a great time visiting with Jeff and Midnight/Suzie. Not sure whether I’ll be leaving Salem with Chuck or whether his cousin is going to come collect him up here, but for the next few days I’m on my own again.
We did some of the tourist stuff while we were here and we’re talking about taking in one more thing before we go. But I’ve learned more about the community here from Suzie than I have from the tourist stuff. Not too surprising really, it’s always true wherever you go that you’ll get more from the residents than the propaganda. So I now have a feel for the Witch community in Salem. I wasn’t aware that it was highly Wiccan, although I probably should have been. I just figured a high pagan content, but it is more specialized it seems.
Suzie is starting her own ADF Grove in the Salem area (pending ADF approval), so we had a lot to talk about with regard to running pagan groups and the issues that we have to face in the role of leader. (*2013 Update: I’ve had many such conversations over the years with the leaders of spiritual events. At the time I was curious how to improve my own events, now I realize it was all building to the launch of the Spiritual Leader University.) She did a reading for me as well and I got hit over the head again with many of the same issues that Bryan gave me. She swears that she hasn’t been on the site to read my journal, I swear that the spirit who did the reading through her was making direct quotes from my postings. She’s an awesome reader, but you’ll have to work it out in trade with her if you want one since she’s not allowed to work at it professionally in Salem (only so many licenses to go around and she’s not one of the lucky few).
We went to a funeral yesterday for the aunt of a woman from Starwood that Suzie knows. It was the fourth funeral I’ve been to in the last 6-7 years and the third in that time frame in which I didn’t know the deceased. It was the first time in my memory that I have actually seen a dead body. It was a surreal experience. I really began to realize how much of my perception of people is energetically based. Suzie ran the ritual for the pagan part of the funeral and what I remember of it was quite lovely. (I was tranced for a good part of it.) We then spent the afternoon at Leslie’s house (it was her aunt).
It seems appropriate that I am doing more work on the death side of things these days (two of the funerals I’ve been to have been in the last 6 months). Grandmother Spider is the weaver of all life and death. Working with the hidden knowledge and understanding both the light and the dark aspects requires a certain familiarity with death, which is something that I haven’t had in the past. Looking at this paragraph again makes me also acknowledge the role that working for the medium, Tony Santos, had in this process as well. (*Update 2013 – I am stunned to see this written here. I thought I had only recently begun to work this path of exploring the darkness in relation to the light, but it seems it started for me way back on the walkabout in 2002. Who knew?)
We had expected to head down to Sam and Tom’s last night, but we stayed longer than planned at the wake and ended up staying another night up here. It turned out to be a really good thing because we got a lot of good work done for everyone last night. I did some energy work on Jeff while Suzie did a reading for Chuck. I watched Suzie do the last part of the reading and watched her go into what I would call spiritual counseling mode. It was like looking in a mirror. I kept thinking “so that’s what I sound like”. Creepy. Even our word choices were similar. Coming here has been a real gift for me because I felt that I really bonded with Jeff at Starwood, but didn’t really even get to know Midnight. This trip, I’ve really felt that I’m getting to know her and I’m glad I did. We talked a lot about our issues, going late into the night (again), not wanting to let the subject drop because we each kept getting “a-ha”‘s out of it.
I woke up this morning thinking about the list of fears that I made when I had just arrived in Bloomington. (See backdated post for July 29th which was translated from my journal.) I was looking back on them now and thinking that they are oh so irrelevant. Yes, they are my fears. Yes, they are still there. But, much like the shift I made when I decided to stop worrying about what people thought and just do my work, I’m looking at all of these fears and thinking the same thing. So what. So what if I look back and think this was a mistake. I’ve looked back in the past and thought I made mistakes and I still wouldn’t have given up the experience because it became part of who I am. So what if people choose to judge me, there will always be someone willing to do that. What else is new and why should I care? So what if I’m scared of what happens if I do this right or wrong. The fact of the matter is that I’m doing it and the only thing I can do to really fuck it up is to not commit to the process and let my fears stop me. So my basic answer to that long list of fears is: “So what?”. Sure I’m afraid, sure I’m uncomfortable. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I committed to this journey physically over a month ago. It’s time to commit to it emotionally now. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I’m going to be making more of an effort to journal daily now. It’s part of my commitment to the process of growth and realization that this journey represents. I’ll be posting the entries directly online whenever possible, but otherwise I’ll try to keep up with the postings as much as I can by transcribing them. Thanks for reading and being part of this journey with me. Knowing that people are following this journal helps me keep the commitment to writing it. Talk to you all soon. – Kelle
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.