Pray Here Too: A Witch’s Brief Her-Story of Primal Communion.
You are not alone, heathen.
In my most indulgent childhood memories, I am gathering mossy stones and building a holy temple where I worship the wolf-gods and weave crowns out of ferns and forget-me-nots. I am casting aside fears of fire and brimstone and reclaiming what they stole from me every Sunday, and I am whispering to no one but the fragile-boned Crone inside me. I pray here too.
Lost in my most selfish fantasies-of-spirit, I am leaving the warm arms of my lover and moving my babes from my lap to wander mountain-ward. I am renouncing all that feeds my soul in the name of rootless wisdom, and I am forsaking my body’s hunger in a feckless, wanton desire for divine communion.
There, holding my body rigid and bidding my crown chakra reach heaven, I chant in time with my slowing heartbeat. I pray here too.
Alas, you know as well I do, Sister, that the real prayers are not said in such sacred vacuums. Once, with legs spread in the final stages of labor, the midwife’s voice caught and her face went pale in such a way that I thought my precious baby doomed.
I begged to every deity I knew, promising even my childhood god that if he would save my ethereal child-of-light, I would give up my wicked ways and restitch my shredded purity. He did, and I didn’t, but in my most Primal Feminine moment, I prayed beneath my guttural howls for the only salvation that mattered. In my anguished desperation, I prayed there too.
Years later, just before the Witching Hour, I sat at the bedside of my dying grandmother, and I begged the dark-winged, merciful angel of death ascend from below and carry the wise one’s soul into the west. I used all the magick I had to beseech the ancestors waiting for her beyond the veil, and I spoke with such resonance I was sure she heard me when I thanked her for her harsh wisdom and soft-breasted comfort.
Facing the loss of the only blood-mother who cared for me in my younger years, I prayed her pain come to a permanent end. In my singular grief, I prayed there too.
Just last Summer, I fell to my knees while standing on an ancient beach and watching the spotted seals sun themselves on slick stones, shaking with relentless gratitude and soul-satiation at the sheer power of place. In my bones and my blood, I knew I had stood there before, in another time when women were hunted and the wild ones had to hide.
I hummed thank-yous in a tune I had never learned in this life, and I communed with the spirit of who I used to be when the land was harsh and time was short. With a sea-wind blowing my tears sideways into my hair, I prayed. Overcome with the most profound sense of supernatural fate and mysterious destiny, I prayed there too.
Right now, right this minute, I am word-Witching away the weight of this wounded world as it sits on my shoulders and ruins my posture.
I am writing proverbs of holy ghosts and verses of the Wild Feminine, imploring the aching souls to raise their voices and out-sing the powers-that-will-be-no-longer, to stand and out-march the ones who sit behind closed doors and sign white papers to control our bodies, and to hold the hands of their babes and out-teach the ones who would tell our children who they are supposed to be.
Right now, I am begging the Primal Feminine in us all to rally and rage against the sins of the father. Right now, I am whispering entreaties and appeals to all who would see our planet whole and our will unruined. Right now, I am hunched over my broken butterfly laptop knowing with all that I am that I pray here too.
I am bidding the Witches to keep rising and the activists to keep showing us the colors of their ire, and I am beckoning to the shadows that have eclipsed the Goddess for so long pass forever into the ether.
Where are you, my love? Your inner altar is shining and dustless even as you ride the train. Pray here too. Your holy heart drums a rhythm in time with the planet’s electric pulse even as you brew the last of the coffee. Pray here too. Star-stuff runs through your veins even as you crunch numbers and hope for better days. Pray here too.
Their god is not your god, but prayer is your spoken-word birthright to commune with the Divine as it pulses inside and outside, above and below. These are our most precious and precarious days when all we have is the place where we stand, and we must pray here too.