Dark clouds snaked through the overcast sky like an airborne river, grumbling warning of impending deluge that summer afternoon in Orlando, Florida.  I was a ten-year-old sorceress with blonde curls and a need for magical sand.  My nine-year-old cousin and apprentice sorcerer collected the sand beneath the overhead bars as we discussed his infant sister, whom we knew was destined to be the most powerful sorceress of all.

The river in the sky grumbled louder, flashing a bit of lightning at us in warning.  I leaned against the metal bars, raised an eyebrow.  "Larak," I said, calling the thunder god by the name I'd given him, "You can just wait until we get home.  When I'm standing under the carport, you can pour all you want then."

My cousin cast a worried look heavenward.  "I think we have enough sand," he said.  "Let's get back before we get soaked!"

He took off running for a moment, then stopped to wait for me to catch up.  I strolled up to him.  "It won't rain until we're home," I said. "Maybe a few drops, but Larak will wait for me like I told him to."

I maintained my leisurely pace all the way home though my cousin ran ahead when the first drops splatted the asphalt around us.  I just smiled at him as I walked calmly to the carport, not a drop hitting me.

The second I stood under the overhang, the sky opened and the entire river poured out onto the road and lawn.  I grinned at my cousin's wide eyes and slack jaw.  "How do you DO that?" he asked.

I shrugged.  "Magic," I said, with an implied 'duh' in my tone, laughter in my heart.

***

When I was ten, I was often mistaken for an adult. I was wounded, abused and neglected by those who were supposed to protect and nourish me.  Most of the time I escaped into books, rather grown-up books, where I could feel loved and special along with my favorite characters.  

But, sometimes, I was an all-powerful, confident, talented Goddess.  In those fleeting moments, I could only feel joy.  I created and believed in my creation.  I was beautiful, strong, smart, a leader.  Those were the moments when I acted like the child that I was.

When I was twelve, my mother died, and with her, the abuse.  The neglect continued, as I was left home alone after school, raising myself.  My wounds festered, and I buried myself in books.

The Goddess wasted away until I could only find Her in my imagination.  But even in my imagination, that vibrant world in which I existed most of my waking life, I more often played the victim than the heroine.

The magic I'd once created in the world survived in my memory of Larak, whom I still ordered around up until college, when I began asking him instead of telling him, and then  stopped talking to him altogether.

***

Ten years after her death, I was walking my dog around our apartment complex, and for a moment, I swear I saw my mom.  She did not look like she had when she died, all sick and deformed from old wounds.  She appeared before me as the beautiful young woman she'd been before she had me, with long brown hair setting off milky skin, and thick-lens glasses magnifying big blue eyes.  Then I saw this precious toddler boy dancing with a pine needle in the middle of the fenced-tennis court, among rays of golden late-afternoon sunshine.  His mother watched him with an indulgent smile, her hand resting over her second child, who would be born in a few short weeks.

I envied her.  I'd always wanted to be a mother more than anything, more than I wanted to teach, more than I wanted to write.  I circled closer to the tennis court, letting my dog sniff and mark every bush he pleased so I could observe this woman living out my dream as long as possible.

When I got within a few feet of her, she spoke.  "Do they give you trouble about him?"

Huh?

Oh, my dog.  "Oh, no," I said.  "He isn't a Pit.  He's half Shar Pei, half Boston Terrier."  I smiled, then noticed her necklace, a quarter-sized pentacle pendant on a silver chain.  "Are you Pagan?" I asked.

She smiled.

Just like that, the magic found me again.  The Goddess within me started to wake up.

This woman brought me home, and nourished the Goddess Child within me.  She helped me find fun in creativity as we made our own wands, robes, and scrying mirrors.  She and her husband both reminded me how to learn for the love of learning again, as we explored the powers of herbs and crystals, reading and discussing books about Goddess-centered spirituality and the Craft.  We attended public rituals together, dressing up in a Public park with lots of other grown people dressed like Witches, talking to magical beings and dancing in circles around fire.

In the decade that followed I learned about real magick, about gods and goddesses, fairies, angels, ghosts, totems, spirit guides.  I learned how to use pendulums, spirit boards, how to scry and find meaning in numbers, images, and feelings.

Most importantly, I learned that there were two kinds of fun: the fun that helps you escape, and the fun that helps you grow.

***

I couldn't find a picture of myself as a child looking happy, much less powerful, so the little boy smiling mischievously in this blog post is my own little miracle, the child I always wanted, who is going to be five in February 2014.

My son is magic.  He is creative, playful, confident, and loving.  He makes me all of those things.  He challenges me to be the mother he deserves.  He inspires me to let my inner Goddess shine.

My Inner Child is the Goddess.