When AOL 3.0 was still the coolest thing, we got the internet and I began poking around some of the 'darker' corners. Most of my internet time was spent in chat rooms, talking to random people, and playing RPG text games. When those bored me or the more interesting people and players weren't on, I surfed through sites on geocities and other 'primative' types of websites. I don't know how I stumbled onto the first Wicca site I came upon, but it intrigued me. I read through the clumsily made website and searched for more.
Most of the sites I found were similar. Obviously people at their home computers making up free websites with stock images and gifs. That didn't matter. It was cool, anyway, because it was so new - the internet and the information I was finding! I kept it mostly to myself, even around my friends. They were too fascinated with The Craft and, although I liked the movie, I didn't want to be like that movie. I was young (14, I think) and was naive.
Fast forward through years of reading up every semi-decent and some downright ridiculous websites and I had my first job. One of my first paychecks went straight to buying my first altar items. I thought that I had to have the most elegant items available. I bought a sterling silver chalice, bell and candle snuffer. A month or two later I bought two different sized cauldrons, a set of runes with a book, and a deck of tarot cards. Finally, I bought a book by Scott Cunningham called Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner .
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I was intimidated by the conundrums set out by Cunningham. In one moment, he'd tell you to make the rituals your own, but a page later tell you it must be done a certain way. It was an excellent read for a beginner and I still glance through it on occasion. His other works are staples when I am referencing info, especially crystals, herbs and incenses. I branched out and bought books from other authors. Some were terrible, some were wonderful.
I bought candles, incenses, little trinkets, bits and pieces that I was "supposed" to have.
I took the items out of their hiding place often to admire them, touch them, imagine using them in some dark, cool, peaceful corner of a deep forest. I was too intimidated to actually do even simple rituals. Not because I feared the outcome, but because I thought I might do it wrong and somehow my new things would be tarnished.
Then I feared nothing would work because my items were too pristine and new. There was nothing IN them. They were devoid of magic, I thought. I told myself when I got my own place and lived away from my parents that I could be who I wanted to be. I would have a whole corner dedicated to my craft and I would buy things that could be magical. I would teach my son what I knew!
I got my first place but it was with a boyfriend whom I told myself I wasn't comfortable explaining my religious views to, especially when they weren't totally coherent, yet. That ended and it was just my young son and I in the apartment. I told myself I was to busy with work and my son, and that he was too young to be taught.
We eventually left that apartment and moved into our own place, just me and my son. I even had a moderately private back yard and. Still I made excuses. My parents lived very close and came over often, along with friends whom I know wouldn't understand or approve. My son was rambunctious, and quiet mischievous, so he may damage something.
I met Kallo online and we hit it off. I told him I was pagan early on; it was so easy to talk to him about anything, since there seemed to be such a deep connection, even in the beginning. Eventually I moved across country to live with him, and eventually married him.
It's only in the last few years that I've finally set up my altar and used the tools I've been carrying around with me for over 15 years. Oddly enough, the items are now old and physically tarnished, but now I understand that doesn't matter and never did. The magic contained in my tools is there because I put it there, not because they possessed it on their own.
It's taken me 20 years to finally come into my own. I know that, although Wicca was what opened the door for me, it's not what my beliefs are. There are some good bits I've taken with me, such as some of the ideas in the Wiccan Rede, but otherwise I've moved onto something that calls to me.
More specifically, I feel Mokosh calling to me, along with the rest of the Slavic deities, but her the most. The first time I read her name I felt a physical jolt, despite it barely being mentioned. It was a list of "domestic" goddesses, and hers was somewhere in the middle, underneath the more well known goddesses. I finished reading the list, but with difficulty, as I kept going back to that name and staring at it. There was no other information offered, just the name, which was so strangely enticing.
Off to google I went to search up information. As I read, more things clicked in my head as to why I was so drawn to Mokosh. So many of the things she represents mesh with everything I am. Even down to her being a yarn spinner.
The information is sparse and hard to come by on much of the original Slavic pre-Christian religion, since there was no written word. I will continue my search for further information, not only on Mokosh, but of the rest of the pantheon.
Perun, the god of thunder, and one of Mokosh's consorts, has sent me his sign, and I know I am on the right path. The statues on my altar that always felt empty and nameless to me finally have names. I know who I am calling to after 2 decades of searching. It's an uplifting feeling.