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Melancholia, Moon Dreams, and the Goddess

I recently received some particularly hurtful and insulting comments from a family member concerning Paganism.  These comments came as a great surprise to me, and also served as a wake-up call.  Being a Space Witch isn’t all moonshine and glitter, unfortunately.



For the most part, I’ve been “Out of the Broom Closet” since I first decided to dedicate myself to the Pagan Path in 2005.  Living in the bible belts of Texas and North Carolina, I realize that I’ve been quite lucky to enjoy the luxury of being “out and proud.”  Sure, I’ve had a few strange and hilarious encounters over the years, but these have been of no great insult to me or my loved ones.  I’ve tried my best to support those who do not have the luxury of being “Out”, and my heart breaks at the loneliness, isolation, hurt, and fear that my closeted Pagan brother and sisters go through on a daily basis.

Despite myself, I’ve been dwelling on the rude comments from my family member.  When I feel I have been insulted, I usually rebound pretty quickly.  I rant to my friends or husband, I write in my journal, I gossip with my sister, and then I feel better and move on.  I know that my life is pretty awesome, and so negativity from people who are miserable really shouldn’t bother me so much.

But the insistence of the comments from this family member has really started to get to me, and I began to wonder if this is the daily experience of those who are not “Out”.  How terrible and demoralizing it must be to be constantly bombarded with comments and hate from all around you, especially from those you love.

While feeling sorry for myself I was brooding in my bedroom, getting love from my cats and rolling around on my bed.  It was a typical “woe is me” moment of indulgence.  And as I was dwelling on how mean and cruel the world can be, I had a memory of a dream.

Memories and dreams can be incredibly similar.  With enough time and distraction it’s easy to forget or find yourself confused about both.  But some dreams are so vivid, and some memories are so vivid, that they remain with you forever.  The memory of the dream or the dream of a memory has such a rippling effect that if given enough time, it can change you.

I had this dream in 2007, right after I moved to North Carolina from Texas.  That spring I had been initiated into my coven, but I had moved away a few months later.  I had come from an incredibly active and supportive Pagan community in Texas, and moving to North Carolina left me feeling very lonely.  Sure, North Carolina has Pagans.  There are a lot of us here!  But it took me a long time to regain my footing

So, there I was, feeling sorry for myself, just me and my cats.  I felt lonely and isolated, and wondered how I would ever survive.  How could I possibly go on?

Shortly after moving to North Carolina I had a dream.  In the dream I was in a huge stadium full of people.  They were excited and all seemed to know each other.  I didn’t really know what was going on so I just did whatever they did.  But finally it was too much for me, so I left.  People kept on trying to get me to come back and join with them, but finally I got away.  In the dream, away from the crowds, I found myself outside.  It was dark, and the huge moon was white among the twinkling stars.  I walked until I found an isolated hill with a lush, grassy slope.  I remember lying down in the grass and looking up at the stars and the moon.  In my waking life I was sad and lonely, and in my dream I felt the same.  So I dreamed of gazing up at the moon, dwelling on my sadness, and in the dream the moon became bigger and bigger and bigger.  It was huge! And as it grew it came closer and closer, as if it was falling.  I remember starting to freak out in the dream, frozen there on that hillside as the moon began to fall towards me.

And then suddenly, as the moon was about to hit, I was smacked in the face by a beach ball, and I woke up.

I remember lying there in the darkness, my heart beating quickly as I was remembering the dream.  My face felt sensitive and stung a little, as if it had in fact been hit by an inflatable beach ball.  But most of all, I had a message upon my heart.  The Goddess spoke to me and she said “Hey! You! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!  Sure, you feel bad and you feel lonely, but stop that!  You feel like you’re alone?  Well, you’re not.  I’m always here with you, and don’t you ever forget that!”  And like a pesky mother she warned me “and if I ever catch you feeling sorry for yourself like this again, you’re gonna get another little smack from me!

And that’s the story of how the Goddess hit me in the face and woke me up from feeling sorry for myself.  And that’s the memory of a dream that came to me after I started feeling sad about the rude comments from my family member.  The Goddess reminded me “hey!  You!  I know this sucks and it’s really getting to you, and that’s okay.  But don’t you forget for a moment that I’m not here with you right now, all the time.  So, I got your back on this, okay?  Don’t worry so much.  It will be okay.”

With these thoughts on my heart, I went to my altar and stood for a few moments.  I poured my heart out to the Goddess, but of course she already knew what was there.  She’s with me always, even when I’m too busy indulging in “woe is me” behavior to remember that.  Even when I feel lonely, I am not alone.

In the Charge of the Goddess she reminds us that “all acts of love and pleasure are her rituals.”  When we feel love and pleasure, the Goddess is also engaging in our love and pleasure.  And I know that when we feel pain and isolation, she is also feeling that pain and isolation.  Life can be tough yes, but she is always, always with us.  We’re not alone, for the Goddess is within and without. 

Post Script – There are many versions of the Charge of the Goddess.  This is one of my favorites.

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