At the autumnal equinox in 1999, I sat in my bedroom with a friend and said my very first dedication to the Old Religion. In front of us sat Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca”, along with candles and incense. I was just months from my 13th birthday, and this was my first true spiritual experience.
I lived in Kentucky back then. The trees really did change color for fall, and the wind was crisp and clean. I loved the crunky of leaves under my feet as we trudged through the woods around our neighborhood. The idea that all of that nature, the beauty and openness and vastness, could be part of a religion… now THAT was appealing!
I stayed pagan. For years I studied alone, through books and the internet. I met a few friends in school who asked to be taught, so we learned together. Some of them moved on; others, even now, practice as I do.
In 2008, I was lucky enough to find a local coven. I spent a few years training under amazing and interesting people; I learned about types of paganism I’d never thought to research. I also had the chance to lead rituals much larger than anything I’d done before. I was blessed with the lessons I learned before leaving the coven. I left when I felt like there wasn’t anything else I could gain by staying.
Now, I’m a solitary practitioner again. I’m not fully Wiccan, per se. I’m a animist first, and that colors everything I do. My rituals and magic, though, are done in a Wiccan format; it fits the best for me, and I strongly believe in following my instincts.
I started this journey 14 years ago, and I’m still walking.