Nervously I entered the room, knowing only one other person, Lady Sive from my class. I wasn’t even sure if small talk was OK at these things, so I quietly and dumbly stood in the corner so like school dances hoping someone would notice me but at the same time dreading the moment someone did. Damn it, I am forty-two years old, but I suppose this is how a five week student attending his first practice should feel. We were gathering this night to practice for the Sabbat of Mabon, the Autumn Equinox.
I recognized a few from Facebook and listened to the conversations politely silent from my perch near the door should I decide to bolt. Such an eclectic group of people gathered in one place to make, or at least practice, making magic together. How did they find each other? Was it supposed to be that at this time, in this place the world was supposed to converge to a single point and mark this moment for me? That is another discussion.
Shuffling around looking sheepish, not saying a word, I felt awkward and ten. A giant of a man entered the room, standing nearly 8 feet tall, yet looking like he weighed ninety-eight pounds, wet, with military boots on, came Lord Tanys. Instantly, despite what I just said – I knew this man would kick my ass mentally and physically. There was charisma and such positive energy flowing off of him that everyone just stopped. Stopped talking, joking, stopped everything for just a moment until he bowed deeply, greeted and paid his respects to the room. I knew immediately, without being introduced that he had definitely earned the title My Lord.
His words on the basics of Sabbat and ring protocol inspired and scared the shit out of me at the same time; Do this, don’t do this – rules, but GOOD rules. If you know me and my contrarian nature, I despise being told how to do what I know what to do, but this felt different. This felt right and I knew that trust was growing in my craft teacher and mentor, Lady Atheona – because if she didn’t think I was ready, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have even been accepted into her tutelage (I found later in the evening, and was surprised, that they had even turned students away).
I was extremely nervous. My stomach was already in knots due to my lack of dietary and exercise focus the past few days as my parents were visiting (see blog post 2 for the day) but the words and the fear of screwing up the High Priestess’ energy because I said unto instead of into and causing her to spiral out of control in her life so that we would be bailing her out of jail, and checking her out of rehab was almost too much. But I sucked it up. I sucked it up so good I started sweating like a madman.
At this point, I assume that everyone thought I had just robbed the orphanage; hands clammy, hair all slicked and wet and my forehead like the weeping wall. I get nervous and I loop. Loop? I start worrying what the person I have to clasp hands will think; who is this new sweaty man? Why is he sweaty? Did he kill someone before coming? Is that sweat or did he just shower? You know, the usual.
I FINALLY did calm down, indeed – other than all the circling, circling and circling, I really was able to control my heart and my mind and when I finally gave it over to the practice, in itself a ritual, I was at peace and I finally felt the connection with the Goddess. The Rune which I had been struggling all week to speak publically just came. I had the opportunity to perform a part in practice; it was absolutely terrific.
This was only my first practice. Over the next year and some into my journey after, hopefully working toward second degree initiation at that point, I will come to further know and love and trust these folks like I can see that most of them already do. I am speaking of things in the future that I cannot see, so I am getting ahead of myself. But that is a story for another day.