Twenty-three years ago today I completed my third degree initiation in Wicca and took permanent vows, celebrating The Great Rite during a Summer Solstice circle with a dear friend of mine by the name of Jamie.
After the four quarters had been dismissed and the circle was opened, though never broken, we feasted on fresh fruit drizzled with honey and drank sweet red wine until the wee hours of the morning when the dew started to fall.
I was what one would call an eclectic wiccan, or a shaman, as I prefer. My craft name was Byron Moonshadow and my first totem animal was a rabbit, though the bear came to me eventually as well.
It is a path I hold dear and one I still follow in many, many ways. Once a witch, always a witch I suppose. It was through Wicca that I discovered the Divine and came face to face with that which is Love. It was through Wicca that I could finally believe in something other, if that makes any sense at all.
Since those days my perspective perhaps has changed over the years and my understanding of grace, salvation, and love has led me down a different path in the garden of life but in many ways I’m still a barefoot shaman dancing under the moonlight in a circle ringed with flowers and the breath of the summer solstice on the night breeze.