Welcome to the new weekly Circle of Hearth and Kin postings! I’m starting things off with an introduction since I realize many of you don’t actually know me all that well, seeing as how I just moved to the island in Summer 2011 and only became heavily involved with the Circle the following Spring. So, where to begin?
A long time ago, in a province far, far away, a young woman was looking for some fairy clip-art for a graphic design project in highschool. While browsing via Yahoo search, she discovered a website that not only contained fairy clip-art to her heart’s content, but also pages and pages of information on different faiths and religions. The entire sidebar was devoted to everything from Taoism to Wicca and she returned to that site over and over during the next couple of months to read everything that caught her eye. The rest, as they say, is history.
That young woman was me-from that website I realized that the label “Pagan” was perfect for me; tree hugging dirt worshipper was getting too long to say, and embracing it led me to my first group of like minded folks. The memory of my first Samhain is burned into my memory forever-I can still smell the oil rubbed reverently on my forehead, the crackle of the fire, the shine of the stars overhead. It was a homecoming for sure. Over the next few years I studied no particular path at knees of my elders (who I realize were the same age I am now!) until that circle fell apart. Thankfully I was able to keep my teacher, Amanda, the most stable and knowledgeable of the group, and we continued to meet on a regular basis, talking mythology, liturgy, service to the community and more. We began running Pagan Pride in our city, and a Pagan Association that offered public Sabbats and coffee nights. Me and Amanda, with a core group of supporting fellow Pagans, acted as co-Priestesses for roughly five years. There were never more than a few dozen people at any event, even Pagan Pride, but it was all our town ever really needed. I took on a student of my own for a year or more, guiding him to a deeper and more complete understanding of his own Path and his connection to Deity, seeing him successfully graduate to walking that Path on his own.
In the Spring of 2011 my husband accepted a position out here in Nanaimo with his company so we moved, him first just after Easter and me and my son and roommate following in the summer once I was done at university (I have a BA in English and a certificate from the Community Economic and Social Development program), driving from Sault Ste. Marie to Nanaimo in six days. Before the move, however, I made sure to check online and see what kind of Pagan presence there was in what was to become my new hometown. Through the wonder of the internet I found Kam, and the Circle of Hearth and Kin, newly formed and in the middle of planning their own Pagan Pride celebration. I made a point of going out for the day, reading tarot and attending ritual, and I really liked what I saw, felt and participated in. It was fun and easy enough to begin attending rituals on a regular basis, and become friends with many of the regulars. Come February of 2012 I volunteered to step in as Priestess when it was needed and since then I’ve been getting my feet under me with Kam and Megan’s help, entered the Aquarian Tabernacle Church’s postulancy program, had a baby and more. It’s been a big year.
There you have it, Jen’s Pagan past in a (very large) nutshell. It’s like a coconut it’s so big, but there it is! Feel free to comment or ask questions; there’s a lot there I’ve left out and you’re welcome to pry a bit. See you at the coffee night on the 15th!
Yours in Balance,