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My wife and I have made profound changes in our lives through green Paganism and simple, ecological living, which have resulted in unforeseen, yet very positive opportunities for peace, joy, laughter, and success. In fact, these opportunities have been so powerful, that I was stirred to share them with others, and not keep all these amazing discoveries to ourselves. We 'unplugged from the matrix' that is the cause of so much distraction and busyness in our lives and created a magickal Pagan homestead. I will share some of these discoveries of how, as a Pagan, you can simplify your life, while living more in sync with your purpose, nature and open up an incredible world of opportunity and possibility.

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Coming to terms with my mortality

It has been over two months since I've written anything for Witches & Pagans. Looking back, it doesn't seem that long, but it's the truth. I've been on a journey, one that I hadn't planned on taking, and one that started as just an annoying, yet familiar pain. A problem I thought for sure I could handle, as long as I was strong, and just tried to push through.

Without boring you by explaining my medical history, I'm familiar with kidney stones. The first time, in 2011, I had them, I went to the emergency room, who readily pumped me full of drugs, told me to drink a lot of water, and wait to pass them. They passed. $4000+ to be told to drink more water.

In early March of this year, I got that familiar twinge in my back, and I was determined to not accumulate another $4000 of medical bills just to hear, "drink more water", so I drank a lot more water. The pain remained, steadily getting worse. I drank more water. I lost my appetite, and couldn't even keep food or water in my stomach. Then, on April 11th, I got really ill, not the kind of ill where you lay down in a dark room under blankets kind of ill. The kind of ill where your wife drags you to the car and races to the emergency room. I was in so much pain, and so sick that I passed out in the car.


Within hours of that car ride, I was being transported by ambulance to a hospital an hour away because they were the closest ones who could help me. The ride, and the next day are kind of blurry, I have bits and pieces of memories of it. My memories are more solid waking up in the recovery area post operation. I was in no pain, the first time in six weeks, I'd forgotten what it was like. It felt nice, and all was well except I didn't really know where I was or what was going on or what had happened. Still groggy from anesthesia, I was wheeled to my room, where my wife was waiting for me; the most beautiful sight I'd seen in my life.

My doctor came in shortly after I was poured into my bed, and said, "it's a good thing I got to you when I did, you had maybe an hour or two left to live." I've never been admitted to a hospital before, so the whole experience was full of firsts, but hearing those words, was like being hit with a very large, heavy, hard object. I'm not sure I have the capability to conveying what those words feel like when they're aimed at you, but it was at that moment, for the first time in my life, that I honestly realized someday I will die.

I've written before about my views on death and reincarnation, but from an admittedly abstract and even uninformed position, without even realizing it or meaning to, but it is something else entirely when it is you that almost died; given a second chance to reflect on the importance and significance of everything...everything. It's taken me a month to even begin to come to terms with the idea that I almost died, and that I was that close.

It seems fantastically absurd in some respects because my recovery has been so quick, all but dead thirty days ago, and now possessing enough strength to do at least some gardening and planting. This past month has afforded me one great opportunity, and that is getting to speak with my gods on my terms without any sense proper etiquette. I was full of questions and emotions, I was beligerant, and angry, and they were patient, and understanding, even the ones not known for such attributes. The answered back.

One day I will die. I've come to terms with my mortality. Wondering when or how, whether I'm healthy  or sick, is no longer a part of the equation. I'm not unscathed by this experience, but I I discovered that I'm not just talking to the sky, the gods are there, and they're listening, and even speaking. I'm more at peace with so many more things that I have ever been. Except for the incredible mountain of debt I now have; that I could still use some help with.

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Peter is an American of British and German ancestry who lives in Missouri with his wife Mary, where he is (re)discovering his connections with nature and the Gods. When he's not tending to their homestead, which feeds his family and provides an expression of gratitude and work in veneration to the Gods, he writes for several blogs, and works as a freelance artist/graphic designer. Having many years of experience in various forms of occult systems, including Asatru, Celtic, and Dragon Hollow Wicca, and Witchcraft, Peter finally found what he had been looking for all his life in a blend of Traditional Witchcraft (the nameless art), Heathenry and personal gnosis/exploration (vision/mystic).


  • Fred J. Fritz
    Fred J. Fritz Monday, 13 May 2013

    A powerful experience that will take time to process. Be sure to give yourself that time.

  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley Monday, 13 May 2013

    I'm working on it, Fred, thank you.

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